DisasterAssistance.gov at a glance

2010 GCN AwardsOrganization: Federal Emergency Management Agency, Recovery Directorate

Project: DisasterAssistance.gov.

Problem: After the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, government officials realized agencies needed a better way to help people. As a result, in August 2006, the Bush administration issued Executive Order 13411, “Improving Assistance for Disaster Victims,” which established an interagency task force to develop a plan to improve the delivery of federal aid. Officials recognized the need for a one-stop clearinghouse for disaster survivors to find disaster assistance information and apply for federally sponsored assistance.

Solution: Under a 15-month deadline, the Federal Emergency Management Agency led a 17-agency partnership, now known as the Disaster Assistance Improvement Program, to create a Web portal that provides a single point of entry for disaster survivors to access and apply for federally funded assistance. DAIP used tools and techniques from existing agency websites and a service-oriented architecture to build interfaces to other agencies' disaster assistance programs and systems.

Impact: DisasterAssistance.gov has positioned agencies to improve the level of service during national disasters or emergencies. Disaster victims now have access to an entire repository of federal disaster forms of assistance. The Web portal has reduced duplication and helped to avoid waste, fraud and abuse.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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