ORLANDO, Fla. -- Working in cooperation with the State of Florida, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) used technological innovations to help meet some of the challenges brought by the historic 2004 hurricane season. Improvements included the introduction of online registration capability, as well as the creation of three new Web sites.
- www.fema.gov – Online registration debuted on FEMA’s official web site on Oct. 1, 2004, providing applicants with the option of registering online for disaster assistance. Following the unprecedented 2004 hurricanes, 26,277 of the 1,247,810 Floridians who registered with FEMA did so online.
- www.floridapa.org – With billions of dollars in disaster assistance at stake, the state of Florida and FEMA turned to an online solution to allow local, county and state officials to track their applications. The Florida Public Assistance Web site was developed through collaboration among FEMA, the State Emergency Response Team, and a private company, MB3 Online.
- www.dhronline.org – When hurricanes rendered tens of thousands of housing units unusable, FEMA sought a common electronic forum to bring together those with available rental resources and those in need of rental housing. Designed in partnership with Florida State University, the result was Disaster Housing Resources Online.
- www.dcnonline.org – Scam artists and unscrupulous, unlicensed construction workers often prey on disaster victims. To counteract that prospect after Florida’s 2004 hurricanes, FEMA, in cooperation with Florida State University, created this resource to link individuals, renters, and homeowners with legitimate, Florida licensed contractors.
The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) is a collaboration of Florida’s state agencies led by the state coordinating officer. SERT’s mission is to ensure that Florida is prepared to respond to emergencies, recover from them, and mitigate their impacts. Visit www.floridadisaster.org for the latest information on the hurricane relief efforts.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.