Thursday, September 08, 2005

FEMA Aid Site Only Takes IE; Firefox, Mac Users Need Not Apply

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), already the subject of sharp criticism in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, may find itself chastised further for restricting access to its online assistance site to Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer users.
To file a claim online at FEMA's Individual Assistance Center, where citizens can apply for government help, the browser must be IE 6.0 or later with JavaScript enabled.
That cuts out everyone running Linux or the Mac operating systems, as well as Windows users running alternate browsers such as Firefox or Opera.
When TechWeb tested the site using Windows XP and Firefox 1.0.6, the message 'In order to use this site, you must have JavaScript Enabled and Internet Explorer version 6. Download it from Microsoft or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register' popped up on the screen.
Attempts to contact a FEMA representative were unsuccessful...


- By Gregg Keizer, TechWeb News


Anonymous said...

This is just indicative of their overall management quality, or dare I say lack thereof.

It took almost a week for their to reach Louisiana, and they didn't even know about the people in the convention centre for the first few days, despite non-stop reporting of it.

Who's to say their website, then, should logically reach the majority of web users?

jmcgready said...


I tried the FEMA site using Firefox with
the User Agent Switcher extension
and didn't run into problems
(as far as I went)....

perhaps that's a decent short-term
response whilst FEMA tries to find
the user-friendliness clue...

The ZenFo Pro said...

Tried it this morning...seems they may be improving it....still wondering about the PDF forms...are they in 7.0 Acrobat only? Already upgraded, but I know the IMLS grant forms caused a lot of problems in the past because thefields were written in a different format that most users could use.