Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting DisasterAssistance.gov and reading our privacy policy. We take the security of your personal information very seriously and make every effort to protect your privacy under federal law.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

PII includes personal details that we may use to identify you. If you enter PII on our site, we only use it for the purpose you enter it for and protect it under the Privacy Act of 1974, the E-Government Act of 2002 and the Federal Records Act.

You don’t have to provide PII to visit our site or answer the questionnaire. If you complete an online application, we use the PII you share to find out if you qualify under a presidentially declared disaster and to manage the assistance process.

You may give us PII when you ask for information or send an email, but we will never ask for PII through email or collect information to use for marketing.

FEMA may review data internally for quality control purposes. We may also share your PII with other authorized organizations. This would be only to help you get other disaster assistance; prevent duplication of benefits; or as needed or authorized by routine uses. Then only upon written request, by agreement, or as required by law. (See reference for "DHS/FEMA-008" below.).

To learn more, read the privacy documents below:

Children's Privacy

Some areas of our site have helpful disaster-related content for children. We are committed to complying with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and do not collect personal information from children under 13. If a child under 13 sends a question or comment, we only use their email address to respond to the message, then delete it by our approved records schedule.

To learn more, please email FEMA-Privacy@fema.dhs.gov.

Paperwork Reduction Act Notice (Public Law 104-13)

The public reporting burden for data collection on our site is estimated at about 18 minutes for the application and 2.5 minutes for the questionnaire. The estimate includes time to read instructions; search for, gather, and maintain the data needed; and fill out and submit the application form.

The collection of data is required for you to get or keep benefits. You are not required to respond to this collection, though, unless there is a valid OMB control number on the form.

You may send comments about the accuracy of the estimates or suggestions for reducing the burden to one of the addresses below. Please do not send any completed forms.

  • For the application:

    Information Collections Management
    Department of Homeland Security
    Federal Emergency Management Agency
    1800 South Bell Street, Arlington, VA 20598-3005
    Paperwork Reduction Project (1660-0002)

  • For the questionnaire:
    Disaster Assistance Improvement Program
    Federal Emergency Management Agency
    P.O. Box 2297
    Winchester, VA 22604

    You may also email: DAIP@fema.dhs.gov.

How We Use Cookies

We use cookies as a tool to help visitors on our site and to track certain data. We don’t use cookies to collect any personal information from you or track your actions beyond our site.

The cookies you get from our site are like ID cards for your device and Internet browser. They open a “session” that allows data to be shared between our site and the browser on that device. In an active session, we can give you the information you want and help you view our pages more easily.

Cookies allow us to track certain data, like how you move through our site, what you look at or download, and how your browser behaves.

We use two types of cookies: session and persistent.

  • Session cookies are temporary and when you close your browser, your session ends and removes the cookie.
  • Persistent cookies are stored on a device for a certain length of time and used to identify you each time you visit. Persistent cookies can also tell us how often you come back to visit.

We use both types of cookies for different things:

  • 1-day persistent cookies on the questionnaire page.
  • 3-month persistent cookies for site visits from a PC.
  • Session cookies for site visits from a mobile device.

You can also choose not to accept cookies. This won’t change what you can view on the site.

To do this you may need to adjust the cookie settings in your browser. If you use multiple browsers, you’ll need to do this for each of them. You can also delete cookies at any time through the settings in your browser.

If you choose not to accept cookies and you answer the questionnaire, just be aware that the system won't save your answers when you leave the page. You’ll need to answer the questions again.

Visit USA.gov to learn how to opt-out for common browsers.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a tool the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set up on DisasterAssistance.gov. It can give us data that can help us make improvements to the site. This tool can gather data about things like how users move through our site and the types of traffic we get.

To get the data, Google puts a 3-month persistent cookie on your device. Our site sends the cookie automatically, but you can choose not to accept it through your browser settings. That won’t change what you can see on the site. You can also delete cookies at any time through the settings in your browser.

If you choose not to accept cookies and you answer the questionnaire, just be aware that the system won't save your answers when you leave the page. You’ll need to answer the questions again.

Visit USA.gov to learn how to opt-out for common browsers.

If you allow the cookie, it records non-personal data like the following:

  • Your Internet provider including location data.
  • Your session connection speed.
  • The address of any website you used to get to our site.
  • The pages you visit and content you download.
  • The device you used on the site – desktop, tablet, or mobile.

It can also help us learn things like the number of unique visits and time spent on a page and the site.

The cookie sends data to Google’s system which immediately compiles it. It does not monitor or record your actions after you leave our site. We only see data for specific time periods and keep it only as long as our records schedule requires. We use this data internally and may also share it with our partners and contractors to help us improve the site.

Google Analytics doesn’t tell us who you are or allow us to get your identity. Google never has access to the details of your session, including personal information entered on your application, and we don’t share our compiled data with them.

DHS has taken great efforts to protect your privacy. The DHS Privacy Office has conducted a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) specifically on how the use of Google Analytics impacts the privacy of visitors to the Department’s websites. You can visit the DHS Privacy page to view the PIA.

Security Intrusion and Detection

The actions noted below, as they relate to this website and government computer systems, are prohibited by law. We may disclose evidence found of any of these actions to law enforcement for criminal prosecution.

If you make any attempt to perform these actions, you could be charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-294), (18 U.S.C. 1030), or other applicable criminal laws.

Prohibited actions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Unauthorized attempts to breach, bypass, or otherwise violate security features.
  • Using the system for other than its intended purposes.
  • Denial of service to authorized users.
  • Unauthorized attempts to access or upload information.
  • Unauthorized attempts to alter, damage, or destroy information.
  • Other interference with the system or its operation.

For site security purposes, our computer systems use software to monitor host and network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or to otherwise cause damage. This helps to ensure that our service remains available to all users.

Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, we do not attempt to identify individual users or their usage habits. Neither do we use raw data logs for any other purposes. We destroy this information per National Archives and Records Administration schedule guidelines.

AddThis

AddThis is a URL-based social bookmarking tool that allows users to share links from DisasterAssistance.gov to social media sites. While we don't use cookies with this tool, AddThis does gather non-personal data like browser type, operating system, and the social site you used. They compile this data and send it to us where we use it internally to help improve the site.

AddThis doesn’t store anything personal about you, like the login to your social media account. It doesn’t tell us who you are or allow us to get your identity. Just be aware that clicking on AddThis will take you away from this site. When you go to another website, you’re subject to the privacy policies of that site.

To learn more, read the AddThis privacy policy.

SurveyMonkey

We use SurveyMonkey online surveys to get feedback from a random sample of visitors. You can also give us feedback anytime by taking the feedback survey. We read and compile the survey data to learn what our users need and use it internally to help make improvements to the site.

The survey does not collect personal information and you don’t have to take it. If you decline, it does not change what you can do on the site.

Site Metrics

Our site metrics are open for public review. We provide this information per the Federal Digital Government Strategy, the DHS Metrics Plan, and the OpenFEMA initiative.

Plug-ins

Some content on our site requires you to have plug-ins to view it. Plug-ins are software that work with your browser to give it abilities it may not have. Most software vendors offer plug-ins for computer platform types like Windows, Apple, and Linux. We offer these links from our Download Plug-ins page to make it easier for you to view content on our site.

You may also need plug-ins to view content on linked external websites. These sites are not within our control and may not follow the same privacy or accessibility policies required for our site. When you go to another website, you are subject to the policies of that site.

DisasterAssistance.gov does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, or applications.

Visiting Linked Websites

Our site offers links to some external private and commercial websites. These sites are not within our control and may not follow the same polices required for federal government websites. Be aware that when you go to another website you are subject to the privacy policies of that site.

Last Updated: 04/10/2018