Here’s another indictment of FEMA that’s been making the rounds in tech circles: their stupid insistence on the use of Internet Explorer 6 to file a claim on their website.
IE 6 only comes with Windows XP, so anyone using an earlier version of Windows — likely, considering how many low income people are displaced — or any other operating system, can’t use the FEMA website.
But wait! There’s more!
Contributors to boingboing today point out the following:
- If you “spoof” the name of your browser — for instance, telling Firefox or Safari to claim that they are actually Internet Explorer — the site works. This means that FEMA is artifically pushing IE for no real technical reason. This doesn’t help evacuees who are stranded and using bare-bones computers on which they can’t install plug-ins or make changes to browser software.
- FEMA provides a toll-free number for those who can’t access the website. Calling this number results in a package of forms that is mailed to your home. The home that is under water. The home that was completely destroyed. The home that you were evacuated from. What’s more, the Postal Service has suspended deliveries anyway.
- If you do happen to get in, the site requires that you type in letters which are displayed in a graphic image, to prevent “bots” from logging in. Of course, this means that blind citizens cannot access services from their own government.
It’s little wonder that our government is so inept. Look at who runs it.