Washington, DC -- Response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency continues at full activation levels in both the Washington headquarters and all 10 regional offices, one day after the apparent terrorist events in New York and Washington, D.C. FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh briefed President Bush at the White House and briefed representatives on Capitol Hill. Allbaugh also traveled to New York City with U.S. senators Schumer and Clinton to view the damage firsthand.
"The President and I are gravely concerned about the victims, the brave firefighters and emergency and police personnel who are working so hard under extremely difficult conditions," Allbaugh said. "I ask all Americans to keep in their hearts and prayers those who have lost loved ones in this horrific event."
- New York, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia have declared states of emergency.
- Commercial flights remain grounded. The FAA is reviewing security plans. It has approved flights for emergency supplies.
- Communications in lower New York remain disrupted, although relevant power companies are working to fix the problem. Con Edison has asked FEMA to supply needed generators.
- Debris planning teams are on site in New York and are working with state and local authorities on plans for safe removal of the debris. The twin towers combined add up to about 450,000 tons of debris, plus another 15,000 from the third building that fell. At the Pentagon, the issue is less severe; there are 16,000 tons of debris, some of which can be shored up.
- Efforts are underway to open closed buildings as soon as possible, but with care so that they do not become contaminated with surrounding debris. EPA is working to address potential air quality issues resulting from the release of asbestos within the damaged and destroyed buildings.
- The American Red Cross is supporting some 20,000 stranded travelers at airports in 22 states. The Canadian Red Cross is supporting 15-20,000 stranded travelers.
- More than 1.5 million Americans have donated blood. While the blood supply for victims is adequate, there are some problems with regular blood supply, since the usual routes for transfer by air are closed down.
- Four disaster medical teams have arrived in New York; two are on standby in the Washington area. The USS Comfort, a hospital ship, is moving to New York from Baltimore Harbor.
- The Dept. of State is acting as a clearinghouse for international offers of assistance.