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Presidential Initiatives

Disaster Assistance Improvement Plan (DAIP)

Program Manager(s)

Bill Prusch and Scott Bowman

Managing Partner

Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA)


Provides a single point of access for citizens to apply for Federal disaster assistance and information about State, local, and non-governmental disaster assistance programs.

Progress to Date

  • Established a program office
  • Identified Federal disaster assistance programs and other Federal disaster-related programs that citizens may need following a disaster
  • Identified common application questions for a single application
  • Conducted outreach meetings with Federal Agency partners to establish processes for programmatic and technical interchange
  • Set a timetable for meeting the December 31, 2008 launch date

Next Steps

  • Collect input from non-governmental organizations which routinely work with disaster victims
  • Work with Federal partners to develop a single application
  • Develop technical interface for data exchange with GovBenefits and Federal partners
  • Gather up-to-date program information on all State, local and non-governmental agency disaster assistance programs


Hurricane Katrina resulted in a public mandate to dramatically improve delivery of government assistance to disaster victims. In the two years following Katrina, 122 presidentially-declared national disasters have caused injury and death, destroyed homes and businesses, and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

The need for the initiative is described in a video posted at FEMA:

Executive Order: Improving Assistance for Disaster Victims (EO 13411, 8/29/06) directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to lead an interagency Task Force with a mission to deliver Federal assistance to disaster victims more quickly and efficiently. The Task Force prepared the Disaster Assistance Improvement Plan (DAIP), which was signed by the President on September 14, 2007.

DAIP outlines a strategy for creating an on-line disaster benefits portal. Disaster victims start on by answering a series of questions to determine the appropriate disaster assistance benefits programs for their situation. No personal identifying information will be requested during this screening.

After the initial screening, individuals will be presented with a list of benefit programs for which they may be eligible - and will be offered a link to the FEMA Individual Assistance Center system to apply immediately for those programs which are part of the single consolidated application. Individuals can follow links to the web sites which will provide the applications for the benefit programs which have not yet been integrated into the single application - thereby providing a consolidated “one stop shop” for disaster benefits. The Disaster Benefits Portal will be live on December 31, 2008.