FEMA Changes Disaster Procedures to Avoid Fraud

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In order to prevent the kinds of fraud and abuse that went on after Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is changing the way it distributes emergency aid.

The changes include the following:

  • Displaced families will receive $500 in emergency aid after a major disaster, down from $2,000 per household
  • FEMA will start registering evacuees before the storms hit, which will help with distributing money and finding temporary housing for people whose homes are damaged
  • Evacuees will not be moved from shelters to apartments or temporary housing until their identities are verified
  • State and local governments will be asked to sign contracts with local clean-up companies prior to a disaster

These changes are being made after discovering that over $1 billion in aid to hurricane victims was misspent. Some of the fraudulent spending included $3,700 for jewelry, $2,000 for New Orleans Saints season tickets, $600 for strippers and $300 for “Girls Gone Wild” videos.