FEMA Site Only Welcomes IE6 Users

    September 8, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Applications for Katrina aid online will have to come from Windows machines running IE6 with JavaScript enabled.

It’s one thing for the Copyright Office to plan to make its next web site initially functional with IE only. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency deals with disasters that affect many disparate people, including Linux and Mac computer users as well as those who normally use Firefox or other browsers.

The FEMA web site for individual assistance works fine with Internet Explorer version 6. Firefox gets shutout immediately with a message from FEMA:

“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”

Other published reports claim the Opera browser won’t work, but that doesn’t seem to be true. Opera can identify itself as IE or Opera to sites it visits based on the user’s preference. Both options retrieved the FEMA registration page without a problem.

Users who cannot access the Individual Assistance registration page can use the telephone option:

If you would like to apply for Federal Disaster Assistance by telephone, you can contact us at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or for the hearing/speech impaired at TTY: 1-800-462-7585. The current hours and days of operation are 24 hours per day 7 days per week. Currently the lines are quite congested and the best time to call is 2a.m. to 6a.m. EDT.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.