Functional & Access Needs Support Team

Functional Access Needs


Functional Access Need Support (FANS) Teams are volunteer teams trained to assist in meeting the needs of residents, visitors, and evacuees with access and functional needs during evacuation and sheltering operations.

FANS Teams will assist the shelter management team in shelters by:

– Assisting with functional needs assessments
– Providing non-medical personal care assistance to shelter residents
– Identifying service and equipment needs of shelter residents

FANS Teams may assist with the evacuation of residents with medical needs and residents with Disabilities, including providing assistance with service animals and pets, loading required durable medical equipment into paratransit vehicles, and assisting individuals with boarding paratransit vehicles. Not all localities with a FANS Team program have paratransit resources so your team may not be used to assist in evacuations.


FANS Team volunteers may assist in shelters with:

  • Non-medical personal care assistance
  • Ongoing evaluation of shelter clients
  • Identifying equipment and support needs
  • Functional Needs Assessment
  • Communicating equipment and support needs


Anyone who has training and experience in personal care assistance and has a satisfactory background check. This can include current and retired RNs, LPNs, CNAs, PCAs, occupational therapists, physical therapists or anyone with the requisite training and experience.


Training for the FANS Team has two parts: classroom and a training exercise. The classroom training may be a one-day training or split over two days. The classroom training covers:

  • Disaster response overview
  • Mass care components
  • Why FANS teams
  • FANS Team Mission
  • Evacuation Assistance Operations
  • Sheltering overview
  • Shelter Operations
  • Shelter Management structure
  • Role of FANS in sheltering
  • Functional Needs Assessments
  • Program Administration & Management (OEM)/MRC

*Please note that the training provided does not include personal care assistance training.*

The exercise will typically be an overnight shelter exercise with volunteers with and without disabilities spending the night in the shelter. Volunteers will be required to participate in the exercise as the final piece of the training, but working overnight hours may not be required.


To register for a training, please click on the locality and complete the information requested. Be aware that the FANS Team program applications will require a background check and that the organizations managing the FANS Team program may vary by locality.

Locality/Region Dates & Times  Location Registration Link
Thomas Jefferson Health District Tue, Feb 7th, 6-8:30 pm
Thu, Feb 9th, 6-8:30 pm
Charlottesville/Albemarle Health Department (use entrance #3)
1138 Rose Hill Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22903


Central Shenandoah Health District Wed, Feb 15th, 6-8:30 pm
Sat, Feb 18th 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Staunton Health Department
1414 N. Augusta St., Staunton, VA 24402


Lord Fairfax Health District Wed, Feb 22nd, 6 pm-8:30 pm
Sat, Feb 25th 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Frederick-Winchester Health Department
10 Baker Street, Winchester, VA 22601




Dawn Brantley, ADAC
Sheltering Coordinator
Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Charlottesville/Staunton/Winchester Areas

Christopher Rini
MRC Coordinator
Virginia Department of Health

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund