Federal Emergency Management Agency

It’s here: the new FEMA.gov

Main Content

Today, we are proud to unveil the new FEMA.gov. As Administrator Fugate said in his video, this is not just an update to the look and feel of our site – the new fema.gov is completely redesigned from the inside out.

To set the stage for the project, here are a few numbers:

  • Over 3,300 pages were reviewed, updated and migrated to the new site; 
  • Over 300 users across the agency were trained to manage and edit content on the site; 
  • Over 30,000 news releases migrated to the new site; and 
  • Over 17,000 disaster pages migrated to the new site.

We began the overhaul of the FEMA.gov site almost two years ago by conducting focus groups to determine how to reorganize information so it could be best presented to the public. One month ago, we opened the preview site and asked for feedback as we prepared for the final push. The preview was the latest step of how FEMA’s customers - the American public - shaped how we designed, built, and launched the new site. Looking back, our initial goal was to create a site that is more user-friendly, better up-to-date, and easier to navigate than its predecessor.

Now that the new site has launched, here’s a look at a few of the major improvements:

  • Reducing the number of clicks for users - FEMA.gov menus now present key topics and sub-topics that are more relevant to what users are looking for. Users can scroll over topics and see subtopics and descriptions, which more easily guides them to the information they need.
  • Preventing users from getting lost - Given the number of pages I mentioned above and the amount of information available on the FEMA.gov site, navigating the old site could prove to be a challenge. The new FEMA.gov now presents the user with “breadcrumbs”, showing how information is organized. Research has shown that these breadcrumbs enable users to better navigate the site by giving them a trail of where they currently are in the site’s structure.
  • Improving search capabilities – It’s plain and simple: searching on the new FEMA.gov works better than the previous version. In addition to receiving more accurate search results, users can search for the type of information they want such as news releases, general site pages, blog posts, etc. Search results can also be filtered by date, region and disaster type. Using the search bar will also retrieve better information because we removed many outdated legacy pages that were being maintained on the old site. 
  • Focusing on accessibility and usability – FEMA.gov has been designed to be accessible to those with access and functional needs and we will continue to strive to meet or exceed federal Section 508 compliance standards. Multi-lingual capabilities have been added too so that a single piece of content can be made in multiple languages with the goal of having key disaster-related content available in the languages that are used in affected areas. Over time, more languages will be added, but there is an emphasis on Spanish content with the initial launch.

Going forward

The list of major improvements above is exciting – but the most significant enhancements to FEMA’s outreach through our website may be yet to come. Since we’re using the open source, cloud-based Drupal content management system, we have a robust foundation for future higher-level development work. For you “tech-savvy types”, this includes leveraging advanced data visualization, distributed content delivery via application programming interfaces, and other “open government” initiatives.

In the coming months, we will be working hard to update the mobile version of our website (m.fema.gov) as we continue to fix any existing bugs in the newly launched site. Going forward, we encourage you to continue submitting comments and feedback because improving the site is an ongoing process.

So take a few minutes and cruise around the new FEMA.gov, then drop us a comment and let us know what you think. Happy surfing!

Last Updated: 
07/19/2012 - 22:17
Posted on Thu, 07/19/2012 - 21:42
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Grace Currid:

on the prior site - Tropical

on the prior site - Tropical Storm Debby had many counties eligible for individual assistance. Today it has zero. Is this a system issue?
L. Y.:

Very difficult to read-

Very difficult to read- colors are too light, fonts are too large, blocks of info and links are spreadout and not designed succinctly and logically. The older version was easier to navigate and read.

Please use a "forwarding"

Please use a "forwarding" link to ensure we can find the new web location. For example, I have a link for the Federal Interagency Task Force, but don't see a new web site for it when I used the FEMA Search engine. I wasted a lot of time looking for the new sites a couple of years ago when many of them were changed. Thanks!
Grace Currid:

Thank you for fixing the

Thank you for fixing the Individual section on Tropical storm Debby. What about the "incident period" that was on the old site. Mortgage companies use this information
Mark Tersolo:

How do I find the FEMA flood

How do I find the FEMA flood maps for New Hampshire and Maine? Thank you.
Steve King:

I'm really excited to see the

I'm really excited to see the newly refocused FEMA.gov website. At a meeting last week several of us debated how hard or easy it was to find out if you home was in a floodplain. After some discussion, we realized that it was very easy to find a FEMA flood map from an Internet search engine, but nearly impossible to find it from the (now previous) FEMA homepage. I tried it today using the new FEMA.gov webpage and it took only a few mouse clicks to find out that I don't live in a floodplain. Thank you!

This new site is terrible.

This new site is terrible. The old site was way more user friendly. I'm not sure why it was changed.

This page is MUCH more

This page is MUCH more difficult to use than the previous "table" version of the declaration summary information. I need to review all the recent declarations for updates and the new page format requires a lot more scrolling and searching to find the information that used to be summarized very nicely in table format. Also the previous version "list by state" included a column indicating whether or not the declarations were still active, which I still have not been able to find in the new version.
Jeff Rubin:

I'll send in specific

I'll send in specific comments to the webmaster. On the whole, I think Craig Fugate nailed it in 90 seconds with the need for change and the vision driving it. FEMA's website has been anything but user-friendly in the past, but it's still got a ways to go. There are still old pages up as well as their new versions, and still plenty of broken internal links with no redirect. There's also the issue of other federal websites being unlikely to catch up with the new links for a long time. The search function is much better, and it looks like there's some method to which FEMA site holds what, but the internal links are a major problem (and always have been) - there's the next website project.
Nicoletta Anselmo:

I want to be able to see, at

I want to be able to see, at a glance, a list of declared disasters in 2012, like there used to be. I haven't found this yet. Am I missing something? Thanks

The new design of the

The new design of the Declared Disaster page is MUCH more difficult for me to use that the former table layout. I have to review all recent declarations, and the old table layout gave me an informative, concise view of the declarations. The new design forces me to do a lot more scrolling and clicking to find the same information that I could previously see all at once. In addition, the previous "view by state" list included an "Active" column which is NOT adequately covered by the "Active Disaster" Map on the homepage. I now have no way of knowing which disasters in a state are active and which are not. Am I missing something, or is there any way to get back the old, more concise, informative layouts?

This is at least the 4th time

This is at least the 4th time this site has been redesigned. I'm tired of coming here and having to play seek and find.
Rick Lord:

I'm not finding the new

I'm not finding the new format as useful. Trying to find DAPs (9526.1 in particular)was more difficult than in the past, and the webmasters have converted Roman numerals in the "old" DAP to Arabic numerals in the "new"...so previous FEMA and State letters, PWs and MOAs that cite specific sections of this policy are now inaccurate and original intent maybe difficult to track. Also, having the policy with defined borders made it easier to read (it bleeds off into white space and marginal notations now), and having it printable as a pdf was useful...not sure how to do that in this new webpage. Finally, FEMA removed its searchable-by-name on-line employee directory two or three years . Has that been restored and, if not, can it be? Thanks.

Information about when

Information about when Emergency Declarations expires seems to be removed from the redesigned web site.

This page is very difficult

This page is very difficult to navigate. I have been looking for documents for hours. You should put a single link on the homepage to all FEMA documents/publications sorted by subject.

I sure have a hard time

I sure have a hard time finding the link to pull up the flood maps, even though I've done it before and using a keyword search sure does not help.

The flood zone look up stinks

The flood zone look up stinks !
L. Johnson:

The new web page is harder to

The new web page is harder to use. cant find a simple county disaster area!!!
Todd Harrison:

I am looking for active

I am looking for active disasters for DC. Map shows DC is red, but when clicked, no disasters come up. I like the map, but the old way of listing active disasters in a table seemed easier to find active disasters.

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