FEMA unveils DisasterAssistance.gov

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched the first phase of its DisasterAssistance.gov, an easy-to-use Web site that consolidates information about forms of disaster assistance in one place, agency officials said today.

Persons needing assistance after a disaster declared by the president will be able to go to www.DisasterAssistance.gov to register online with FEMA and other federal agencies.

DisasterAssistance.gov will improve and simplify access to information about disaster assistance by creating a central, online location for all forms of federal disaster aid, FEMA officials said. Sixteen federal agencies have partnered with FEMA to develop the site, offering more than 50 forms of assistance.

For example, the Agriculture Department has 10 types of assistance that range from crop insurance to the supplemental nutrition assistance program. The Social Security Administration has 18 forms that include child insurance benefits and supplemental security income.

Currently, on the DisasterAssistance.gov site users can:
  • Apply for FEMA assistance and U.S. Small Business Administration loans through a single online application.
  • Check the status of their online application(s).
  • Choose to have their Social Security benefits directed to a new address.
  • Access their federal student loan account information.
DisasterAssistance.gov will be updated in phases to include additional forms of assistance that are administered at the federal, state, regional and local levels, officials said.

People can still go to FEMA.gov. However, those who apply for assistance online will be redirected to the new DisasterAssistance.gov Web site.

DisasterAssistance.gov was developed to comply with Executive Order 13411, which requires the government to simplify the process of identifying and applying for disaster assistance.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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