❮   Back to the Federal CX Projects

Recovering from a disaster


Where are we now

Those who have lived through a disaster (an increasing number of Americans each year), are facing one of the most difficult experiences they’ve ever encountered: attending to their families’ most basic needs, keeping businesses afloat, all while experiencing trauma, stress, and multiple bureaucratic processes. Further, in environments like this full of administrative burdens, inequity flourishes. In these most vulnerable moments, survivors expect the government to step up.

Where we want to be

Disaster survivors will no longer need to navigate multiple assistance forms across multiple agencies to get the help they need, saving time and energy by only needing to share their information with the government once to allow them to focus on their recovery and well-being. Survivors will receive seamless services for disaster housing, casework, and other supportive services, regardless of service provider or program. Finally, small businesses will have faster and more sustainable recovery, supporting jobs and opportunities throughout impacted communities.

Where we will start

Through Summer 2022, we will:

  • Interview survivors to build our understanding of the current perception of the types of assistance available, how survivors understand what they may qualify for, and how they currently navigate multiple applications, to better inform how a future, more integrated application process could be designed.
  • Assess the privacy data sharing constraints across Federal agencies that provide direct services to disaster survivors to develop recommendations to overcome longstanding obstacles to effective data sharing. Further, we will gather customer perspectives of privacy protections, sharing the same information across multiple forms, and how they think about a shift toward more integrated applications that could share data across agencies.
  • Develop a catalog of the most critical communication artifacts provided by direct service Federal agencies to disaster survivors, and analyze this catalog based on best practices for accessible, trauma-informed design using input from survivors.
  • Conduct primary research with disaster survivors about their housing journey, particularly with those that experienced pre-disaster homelessness. Further, the team will interview state emergency management agencies, local homelessness service providers, local social workers/ caseworkers, and disaster housing providers; ultimately, develop a journey map that builds on existing work to better articulate the cross-agency housing journey for persons experiencing housing insecurity.
  • Create a journey map to capture the recovery journey for small businesses, identifying opportunities to aggregate information on recovery resources. The team will validate with users how we might better deliver a “DisasterAssistance.gov”-type entry point for small businesses, looking especially closely at pre-existing Federal resources that aim to provide this value.