Homeland Security and Emergency Management

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Access and Functional Needs

One of the most important roles of government is to protect citizens from harm.  Government emergency planning, preparedness, response and recovery programs must be accessible to people with disabilities according to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. HSEM is committed to planning and preparing for Minnesotans with access and functional needs.  Please refer to the left side of the page for additional resources. 

Definition of Access and Functional Needs

FEMA’s National Response Framework gives a new definition of the term “special needs populations” that is function based. This reflects a need rather than a condition, diagnosis, or label. Individuals may have additional needs before, during and after an incident in functional areas, including but not limited to:
  • Maintaining independence
  • Communication
  • Transportation
  • Supervision
  • Medical care

Individuals in need of additional response assistance may include:

  • People with disabilities
  • People who live in institutionalized settings
  • Elderly
  • Children
  • People from diverse cultures
  • People with limited English proficiency
  • Non-English speaking
  • Transportation disadvantaged

Functional Needs Planning Toolkit

In a collaborative effort with other state agencies, HSEM is offering the newest resource for emergency planners: the Functional Needs Planning Toolkit.  This searchable online toolkit provides the latest methods and the most comprehensive resources available for including people with access and functional needs in whole community emergency plans.
Use this Functional Needs Planning Toolkit to help in your emergency planning.