Image of home severely damaged by tornado. Two story home is missing an entire exterior wall. Furniture, debris visible throughout the house.

MAST Teams help survivors transition from shelters to more stable housing and can decrease the length of shelter operations.

A Multi-Agency Shelter Transition Team’s sole mission is to assist shelter clients in transitioning to a longer-term or permanent housing solution by providing information, resources, and access to various local, state, voluntary organization, and implemented federal programs. These teams are a unified, collaborative effort operated by the impacted locality/localities, state, Red Cross, and FEMA; it is this cohesive partnership that enables MAST Teams to facilitate successful housing outcomes for survivors.

How IEMC can Help

IEMC has staff members with tremendous experience in MAST Team planning and operations. Our staff have planned, led, or supported MAST Teams and smaller-scale shelter transitions in Florida following Hurricane Michael, California following the Camp Fire, and Alaska following the 2018 Cook Inlet Earthquake. Our team can help yours with:


IEMC can train your state or local staff on establishing, operating, and managing a MAST Team operation. Training can be provided on-site or virtually.


IEMC can also develop or assist in developing a MAST Team plan for your jurisdiction. The level of our involvement is entirely up to you but our planning is always done collaboratively with you and all other mass care and recovery stakeholders.

Information Management

IEMC has a particular expertise in information management across agencies, platforms, and firewalls. During any response and recovery operation, the Information Beast will rear its head and your team will need to provide metrics on shelter clients, barriers, successful outcomes, and more. Information and metrics is also informs and supports your MAST Team operations by providing a clear picture of information such as what the needs are, shelter population timelines, met versus unmet needs, and eligibility for specific programs.

IEMC has developed a MAST Information Management Tool that can rapidly be customized to meet your jurisdiction’s unique needs. Your team can then enter and manage the data or IEMC can manage your MAST Team data securely and efficiently, provide reports and information dashboards with automated metrics and graphics, and perform user management.

On Site Support

Our team has MAST Team experience in real world disaster operations. We can deploy on site support for your MAST Teams with as little as 48 hours notice.

Contact Us today to learn  more or discuss how IEMC can assist your jurisdiction.


MAST Teams can be established for any size sheltering operation, however it is primarily recommended for longer sheltering operations where the post-event population has plateaued. After an event that displaces a large number of households, the shelter population will naturally decrease as people return home or find alternate housing arrangements. In some events, larger shelters will hit a plateau where the population stays the same for several days or the decrease slows substantially. The remaining individuals tend to be pre-disaster homeless, pre-disaster precariously housed, and those who need significant assistance with interim housing.

The Team

To be effective, MAST Teams MUST be a cooperative effort that involves:

  1. The impacted locality/localities
  2. The state
  3. FEMA
  4. American Red Cross

In addition to providing the personnel who make up the MAST Teams, federal, state, and local agencies also own most of the resources needed by shelter clients including HUD, Section 8, Housing Authorities, Veterans Services, and more. As such, MAST Teams should include agencies and organizations with actual resources (not just information and referrals) to help shelter clients move from the shelter to a more stable, long-term environment.

Biggest benefits 

  1. Shelter clients are able to transition into housing more quickly. This is a benefit to the shelter clients and the locality – clients get into more stable housing and localities are able to demobilize shelters more quickly than without MAST Teams.
  2. Awareness of shelter clients and their situations. MAST Teams provide localities and states an opportunity to have information about shelter clients, the assistance these households have received, what their primary barriers to leaving the shelter are, and what their ultimate resolution is.
  3. The locality becomes the problem-solvers for their residents in their time of crisis. This is not only great public relations, it also helps build the community’s trust in their government officials – a win-win for all involved!


Links to MAST Team Resources

Multi-Agency Sheltering/Sheltering Support Plan Template

Multi Agency Shelter Assessment Support Program Report (Tropical Storm Irene, 2011)