Purchasing cards help responders in first 72 hours
| 02.05.2008 | 08:10:09 | Views: 2964 | ID:
February 5 '08: Entrepreneur.com hosted a piece by Visa Senior Vice President of Commercial Solutions Darren Parslow who wrote, "Purchasing cards help enable city, county, and state agencies to procure emergency supplies and services not only quickly, but under conditions when even basic infrastructure such as power grids, telecommunications networks, and banking systems are disrupted and suppliers are without power or have been destroyed."
Before 1994, there were no integrated purchasing card systems set up in the country. Many times, local emergency management officials relied on cash handed out to responders as a means to buy items needed in the field.However, Parslow wrote, "The obvious downside of cash was that it was difficult to manage and vulnerable to abuse." Having purchasing cards, Parslow continued, made it easy for local vendors to honor a paper receipt for a purchase which could be redeemed after basic services were restored. The best tests for the cards were during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. "The cards proved so indispensable they rapidly became the new standard for effective disaster response; critical supplies were secured faster under thee worst conditions with maximum oversight and minimal abuse," Parslow wrote. Parslow advises agencies and businesses to buy purchasing cards with a $1 limit which can be raised during a crisis so that they are on hand and ready to use. Having backup databases able to handle the transactions will help to reduce the amount of confusion of purchases and help expedite recovery operations.
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