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Preparing for Hurricane Season

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

In 2005, Hurricane Wilma left thousands of South Florida residents hungry and thirsty. 600-thousand asked for help from the state.
During Wilma, applications for cash and food assistance were filled out on paper. It took days, sometimes weeks for assistance to arrive.

Now the Department of Children and Families has a mobile application system. Victims are given debit cards when they apply. Using a satellite the applications can be approved over night and the cards activated.

Terry Durdaller, DCF Spokesman says, "The amount of money the card depends on how many people are in your family."
DCF tested its Food for Florida Program, Thursday. State workers played hurricane victims with no where else to turn.
Some played scam artist. This woman is using a fake ID. She was turned away.

And of course this is just a drill… in the event of a real disaster the crowd would be hundred times this size and more than fill this entire parking lot, but that has never happened.

The new system has been in place since 2007 and has never been needed. But with just two weeks until hurricane season DCF is testing the equipment and once again hoping they won't have to use it.


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