Applying for FEMA aid now a smart phone app away

New mobile service lets smart phone users apply for federal disaster aid

After an earthquake, tornado or other national disaster, survivors now can apply for federal disaster aid from their smart phones, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.

FEMA has added a new feature to its mobile Web site to enable smart phone users to apply for federal disaster assistance through Web-enabled mobile devices, including the BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Mobile phones, the agency said in a news release.

FEMA created the Web site two months ago to offer information to smart phone users on emergency preparedness and disaster recovery. The site has links to other disaster-related sites. Disaster survivors can also apply for federal aid by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or logging on to FEMA’s main Web site.

Related stories:

FEMA goes mobile with disaster info

Widgets, Twitter to fuel FEMA emergency alerts

To apply for aid, visitors first must register with and then use links on that mobile site to access FEMA's to apply for federal disaster grants and loans from FEMA, the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies.

The federal aid becomes available following the president’s declaration of a disaster.

"As smart phones become cheaper and more prevalent, and wireless networks more resilient, these devices are becoming more than just simple communication tools — they can be lifelines during emergencies," FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said.

Fugate also released a YouTube video publicizing the new service.

However, for claims regarding the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, individuals should continue to visit the BP claim Web site, FEMA said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image: looking for code.

    How DOD embraced bug bounties -- and how your agency can, too

    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

  • Shutterstock image: cyber defense.

    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group