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September 7, 2005

FEMA to issue debit cards

Topics: Natural Disasters

At first I thought the idea sounded crazy, but on the other hand, it's a great idea for getting the money to folks who need it.

For the first time in the history of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the government has decided to dole out debit cards worth $2,000 each to help displaced hurricane evacuees get back on their feet.

"The concept is that this is cash in hand that allows them, empowers them, about what they need to do to start rebuilding their lives," said FEMA Director Michael Brown, announcing the program Wednesday at a press briefing at the state Office of Emergency Preparedness.

The cards were expected to be distributed first to evacuees that are currently staying in shelters. It was not clear if they would be issued more widely than that.

The $2,000 debit cards will allow people who are running low on cash after fleeing their homes and jobs to buy emergency supplies or make minor repairs to their property, Brown said.

FEMA representatives at the state Office of Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge did not have much more information about exactly who would be receiving the cards.

I could be cynical and say that there'll be a lot of partying going on by a great many people that have been evacuated from the party-hardy city, at least by many who haven't seen that much money at one time in their entire life. However, for those that really need it and indeed deserve it, particularly the families, former home owners, and renters, I'm glad that the government has thought of a creative way of getting the funds in the hands of the "evacuees(who have taken refuge from the storm's aftermath)," sooner rather than later.

Posted by Richard at September 7, 2005 9:04 PM

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