Washington, D.C., Oct. 28, 2012 -- President Barack Obama participates in a briefing with federal agency partners on preparations for Hurricane Sandy at FEMA's National Response Coordination Center. At right is FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. More on the President's visit to FEMA on the White House blog.
Hurricane Sandy continues to swirl closer to the coast, with impacts already being felt in several states as of Sunday afternoon. At the direction of President Obama, FEMA continues to coordinate the federal government’s assistance and preparations for Hurricane Sandy. Today, the President visited FEMA headquarters and received a briefing from federal, state, and local officials coordinating the preparation efforts. He continued to direct Administrator Fugate to ensure the federal partners continue to bring all available resources to bear in supporting potentially affected areas.
If you are in the potentially impacted area, here are the key reminders right now:
- Follow the direction of local officials – if told to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Make final preparations – If you’re further inland, now is the time to make final preparations. Be ready for power outages and stock up on emergency supplies of food, water, medications, and other supplies.
- Know the forecast for your area – Sandy is a large storm with potential impacts from wind, coastal flooding, inland flooding, rain, and snow. Listen to your NOAA weather radio and local news reports, or visit weather.gov for the conditions in your area.
- Check on your neighbor – make sure they’re ready too.
Key FEMA activities today
Earlier today, the President declared an emergency for the State of Maryland. The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts to provide assistance for required emergency measures to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety in the City of Baltimore and all counties in the State of Maryland.
Along with our federal partners, we remain in close coordination with states and tribal governments and continue to coordinate resources to provide support as needed. FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams and liaison officers have been deployed to potentially affected states along the East Coast. Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and teams are in place or are en route to Delaware, the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania to support the states with secure and non-secure voice, video, and information services, operations, and logistics support to state response operations, and with any potential requests for assistance.
Here’s a brief recap of what FEMA and our federal partners have been doing:
- The American Red Cross mobilized hundreds of disaster workers, readying shelters and coordinating efforts with community partners in potentially affected states. To find an open Red Cross shelter, download the Red Cross Hurricane app or visit www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter.
- To support potential pre- and post storm hospital evacuations, in coordination with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through Emergency Support Function 8, FEMA has the capability to activate ambulance contracts to support state requirements to evacuate patients if needed and requested.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deployed temporary emergency power teams, consisting of planning and response teams and resource support staff to assist with critical infrastructure.
- The Department of Energy continues to work with states and local partners to pre-mobilize storm and field personnel to assist in power restoration efforts.
- FEMA and the Department of Defense are establishing Incident Support Bases in Westover, Mass. and Lakehurst, New Jersey to position supplies including water, meals, blankets and other resources closer to potentially impacted areas, should they be needed.
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is monitoring the storm and will take steps to prepare and protect FAA facilities and equipment that are in the projected path of the storm, including control towers, radars and navigational aids. The FAA's top operational priority is to quickly re-establish air traffic service to support disaster relief efforts.
We will continue to provide updates on this blog about FEMA and the federal family’s preparations and response to Hurricane Sandy, and don’t forget to download the FEMA smartphone app for safety tips and open shelters.