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US govt 'must improve' FEMA data collection

Rachel Wheeler

November 2, 2010

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Efforts made by the US government to collect information regarding the national preparedness capabilities have been useful but sometimes unreliable, it has been claimed.

According to a government accountability office report, the data collection methodology used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs to be standardized if it is to be considered accurate, Fierce Government IT reports.

"Without defining capability requirements, FEMA and its local, state, tribal and federal preparedness stakeholders cannot implement a standardized approach to identifying capability gaps," the report explained.

The news provider stated that FEMA has made progress in addressing the data collection challenges which it faces by creating a web-based survey tool to improve data entry.

"However, data entered through the tool has limited reliability because no standardization exists for data entry and jurisdictions input data and information based on self-assessments," the report added.

FEMA is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security which was set up to coordinate the response to disasters.

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