FEMA to adjust IE-only Web site

Following an outpouring of commentary in the blogosphere and the news media, the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Emergency Management Agency is retooling its Web site for disaster aid applications so that it won’t require the use of Windows-based PCs running Microsoft’s Internet browser.

Currently, the online FEMA application process works only with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6.0 and above, according to FEMA. “We are in the process of modifying the application so that it will be available to additional browsers, FEMA said in a notice on its site. “If you do not have Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, you may still be able to check the status of your application and update your information online once you have registered by phone.”

The FEMA site advises would-be aid applicants that use incompatible browsers, such as Firefox and Netscape, to apply by phone. The agency’s phone banks accept aid applications 24 hours per day, seven days a week, according to the notice, which adds, “Currently the lines are quite congested and the best time to call is [between] 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. EDT.”

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