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FEMA Modernizes Mobile App to Increase Accessibility and Improve User Experience

A Recover section helps disaster survivors understand federal disaster declarations in their area and get answers to common questions.

FEMA announced Thursday that it has updated its mobile app — in English and Spanish — to give users increased personalization options and help them take charge of disasters. Downloading the app now is especially important as we enter peak hurricane and wildfire seasons.

Driven by critical customer feedback, this is the mobile app’s largest update in the last 10 years and demonstrates FEMA’s continued commitment to meeting people where they are by providing the resources they need in a user-friendly way.

“FEMA is committed to providing families with the tools and information they need to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from disasters,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “By advancing our mobile app technology, we are better helping communities plan, protect and recover from disasters through clear, effective and relatable communication.”

The original FEMA app gave users a reference guide of information to pull from and basic alert features. The new app will allow users to customize what they see in the app in order to receive information most relevant to their user preferences and location. Another innovative feature of this revamp is a Recover section that helps disaster survivors understand federal disaster declarations in their area and get answers to common questions about the assistance application process. Together, these new features help users better prepare for, protect against and recover from disasters.

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FEMA Modernizes Mobile App to Increase Accessibility and Improve User Experience Homeland Security Today

FEMA App before and after update

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FEMA Modernizes Mobile App to Increase Accessibility and Improve User Experience Homeland Security Today

Screenshots from new FEMA App

The app’s redesign has been rooted in the customer experience and user feedback, with increased accessibility integrated into the development process to ensure this new version was also user friendly for people with disabilities.

“At FEMA, we’re constantly striving to make our information as approachable as possible,” said FEMA Digital Engagement & Analytics Branch Chief Gloria Huang. “This latest update is a big step forward, but not the end of our progress. We’ll continue taking user feedback and technological advances to improve app functionality. This information empowers people to make informed decisions about their preparedness and response to disasters.”

In addition to all-new features like disaster declaration notifications and frequently asked questions on assistance applications, popular features such as weather alerts, emergency shelter locations and disaster recovery center information will be included in this update but with an entirely new, user-friendly look and feel. Preparedness information on the FEMA app has also been completely re-worked to make it easier to understand, and this latest version will present interactive preparedness information grouped by topic.

The app is available for download on iOS or Android. Current users will need to update their app and enter profile information but will not need to re-download it to access new features. Watch our FEMA App video and visit the FEMA App webpage for additional information.

Furthering FEMA’s commitment to providing accessible disaster information, the agency also updated its Text-to-Shelter feature this year. Users can now text “shelter” and their ZIP code to 43362 to get a list of nearby shelter locations. During disasters, it is important to follow instructions given by local and state officials, as they may share additional sheltering options.

Read more at FEMA

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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