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Functional Assessment Service Teams - FAST

Functional Assessment Service Teams When Wisconsin residents are displaced from their homes during a disaster and find it necessary to stay in a community emergency shelter, it is essential that community officials, responders, and shelter managers are prepared to provide service and reasonable accommodations to all shelter residents, including those with access and functional needs.

Supporting shelter residents with access and functional needs requires proper planning pre-incident and proper coordination during the incident. Functional Assessment Service Teams provide a system for assessing people with access and functional needs when they enter the reception center or shelter and helping them get what they need to safely stay there.

FAST in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS) is leading a statewide initiative to identify, recruit, and train state, regional, and local FAST in support of local and tribal government in sheltering people who have been displaced from their homes during a disaster.

The FAST initiative is modeled after systems developed by the State of California and currently being adopted in other states across the nation. It is similar to the Milwaukee County Forward Assessment Team (FAsT) model and to Waukesha County’s Functional Access Shelter Advanced Group (FASaG). The impetus for adopting this model statewide emerged from comprehensive regional planning activities taking place in the Western Wisconsin Public Health Consortium.

A FAST is a team of 2-8 trained members that:

  • May be requested by response staff when it becomes evident that people displaced from their homes may have access or functional needs.
  • Evaluates the needs that people may have and determines whether they can be supported within the reception center or shelter.
  • Helps response staff distinguish people who have access and functional needs from those who have medical needs.

FAST Initiative Partners

American Red Cross: Badger & Southeast WI Chapters
Department of Health Services:
     Division of Long-Term Care
     Division of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services
     Division of Public Health
Milwaukee County Emergency Management
Waukesha Health & Human Services Department
Western Wisconsin Public Health Consortium
Wisconsin Emergency Management
Wisconsin Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster