WASHINGTON—Explaining that all victims of Hurricane Ian must meet the necessary requirements in order to receive aid, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Wednesday that individuals at risk of dying in floods would be required to pass a drug test before qualifying for rescue. “We at FEMA have a responsibility to ensure that those seeking evacuation from the rooftops of their submerged homes aren’t drug abusers upon whom our life-saving resources would be wasted,” said FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell, explaining that residents of Florida and surrounding areas devastated by recent storm surges should visit FEMA.gov to find the nearest location at which they could submit a urine sample to prove they were drug-free and entitled to emergency services. “In the event a flood victim is unable to visit a testing site in person, they can submit a request to have a member of the National Guard visit their home and descend from a helicopter to collect their urine sample. The test will be processed within 48 to 72 hours and, if negative, will enable the victim to fill out an application for assistance. If, after a two-to-three-week waiting period, the request is approved, a National Guard helicopter will return and a search-and-rescue crew will be authorized to transport the victim to safety.” National surveys dating back to FEMA’s founding in 1979 have shown a dramatic decline in its approval ratings, with Americans continuing to rate the agency far less favorably than drugs.
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