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With more speed and cargo-hauling ability than most helicopters, the USMC's MV-22 Osprey could prove an able partner in US disaster relief operations.

Two Wheels

Forget FEMA. Portland, Oregon's relief – if and when the Big One hits – might just come in the form of an army of bike riders. Most likely fueled by caffeine rations.

The U.S. Senate approved a stop-gap funding measure to stave off a looming government shut down on Monday. At the same time, lawmakers have also managed to keep from cutting a special fund designed to help automakers retool their manufacturing centers for more fuel-efficient models. The Detroit News reports that Republicans in the House of Representatives wanted to cut funding from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program to free up funds to direct toward the Federal Emergency

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY12 Homeland Security Appropriations bill (pdf). As part of this bill, the Committee pushed through an amendment that adds $1 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) disaster relief fund.

Official

Nissan Americas is offering employee pricing and delayed finance payments to victims of the recent tornadoes and floods across the southeastern U.S. The latest gesture comes after the company donated $115,000 to the Red Cross to help with the relief efforts.

With the terrible fires ravaging California, many companies are stepping up efforts to aid in the relief fund, and Ford is doing its part by extending its A-plan vehicle discount to any family that lost a vehicle in the fires. To claim Ford's coveted employee discount, victims from the disaster need to show an insurance report, police report, or a note from FEMA. To sweeten the pot, Ford is also keeping any rebates on its products, which makes for some very hefty discounts indeed.