FEMA call center staff currently work 7a-1a Eastern, 7 days per week. 86% of their registrations are taken M-F and 94% are taken from 8a-9p, most by 8pm. Reducing the hours of operation to M-F, 8a-8p would save the Agency upwards of $1M in night/weekend differential pay and $1M+ in nighttime facility services with little degradation in service.
FEMA offers a website by which a survivor can check the status of their application or register online. FEMA also offers an automated status check via the phone system during non-staffed hours. Survivors can also apply via a mobile device and will soon receive SMS messaging from FEMA about their application. FEMA is also working on initiatives to allow survivors to receive electronic mail and perform additional self-service for their application online.
By allowing survivors to use the technology services FEMA has paid to develop and reducing the hours of operation to more reasonable hours, the government can save literally millions of dollars each year in differential and facility costs while still offering a full array of services 12 hours per day, M-F and a large portion of those services 24 hours a day.