FEMA To Introduce Blockchain For Quick Disaster Dividend Payments
FEMA( America’s Federal Emergency Management Agency) is considering a blockchain registry to increase the pace of disaster relief payments.
According to a November report published on Monday, the proposal by America’s disaster response mitigators comes through a draft text of it’s National Advisory Council (NAC).
NAC’s suggestion builds on a federal history of considering blockchain applications in disaster relief. Last year in December, the Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency unit met to examine how blockchain could have helped the post-Maria effort in Puerto Rico.
The advisory body’s draft text asks FEMA Administrator ‘Peter Gaynor’ to launch a blockchain pilot program for land registries. The NAC argued that blockchain could simplify and improve the pace of government payouts communities rely on in the wake of natural disasters.
“In many disasters, like ‘Hurricanes Maria’ in Puerto Rico or ‘Harvey’ in Texas, concerned communities may lose the type of information required to file a claim, such as personal identification, policy documents, land ownership records,etc.” the draft stated.
“By piloting a blockchain-based registry in this manner, FEMA can organize cross-sector engagement and develop technology-enabled use cases that can boost the speed of disaster responses and insurance claim payments, without losing accuracy or increasing the risk of fraud.”
Apart from building a pilot, the NAC suggests that FEMA partner with insurance agencies launch the service, enhancing its ability to send its “disaster dividend quickly” or “harm’s way” payouts to those affected by disasters.
In its draft report, the NAC stated FEMA should seek blockchain solutions for disaster relief because of the merits of maintaining records in various locations.
Due to decentralization, a blockchain solution could save significant data across many servers, adequately compensating the danger of a single-point-of-failure that one flood could apply, in terms of damage from a substantial storm if all the data were kept in 1 physical location.
“Their ultimate attractiveness is their decentralized structure, which elevates resilience and recovery efforts in a disaster because crucial information is stored off-site and is extremely trusted secure platform.”
The NAC previously issued guidance around blockchain technology, though not for disaster relief payouts. After its November 2018 meeting, the council recommended former Administrator Brock Long launch a blockchain pilot for FEMA’s “inefficient” and different housing assistance programs.
“Worse, this inefficiency places an enormous burden on disaster survivors trying to cope with multiple program requirements, lost documentation, and redundant requests while still staggering from disaster effects,” NAC Chairman Nim Kidd said in the letter.
Any on-the-ground application of the NAC’s proposal is far off.
Administrator Gaynor would need to adopt NAC’s final recommendations. Then FEMA would need “to convene, scope, and monitor a pilot project between key stakeholders, including technology firms, academic institutions,” plus recruit state and local leaders who might want to get involved.