Katrina Refugees Are Issued Stored ValueCards By FEMA

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HOUSTON - (09/08/05) -- In one of the largest financialassistance initiatives ever for disaster victims, the FederalEmergency Management Agency began issuing stored value cards withas much as $2,000 on each one to New Orleans residents holed up inthe Astrodome. The cards could be used to buy food, transportation,gas and other essentials. FEMA planned to issue about 20,000 of theMasterCard-branded cards Wednesday and as many as 600,000 cardsworth as much as $1.2 billion to refugees and other victims of lastweek's massive storm who were forced to flee their homes, a FEMAofficial told The Credit Union Journal. Refugees will be screenedby FEMA and the Treasury Department to determine their eligibilityfor the cash-like assistance. The cards will bear the MasterCardname and read, "FEMA Assistance" across the front.

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