WASHINGTON - Today, FEMA senior leadership urged residents in the potential path of Hurricane Dorian to maintain vigilance as the storm continues movement toward the United States.
Associate Administrator for the Office of Response & Recovery Jeff Byard spoke with CNN’s “New Day” about the need to battle complacency due to Dorian’s slow forward movement.
“That's our biggest challenge right now, making sure the citizens are still taking Hurricane Dorian very seriously not just in Florida but Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina,” said Byard.
He also spoke about supporting federal partnerships with the U.S. State Department and USAID who are evaluating the response needs of the government of the Bahamas.
“I have confidence that the American government through our system will render what aid we can to the Bahamas,” Byard said. “But, right now it's just getting those basic assessments, making sure you can clear airports or get some supplies in to help the government there.”
Associate Administrator Byard also appeared on FOX’s “Fox & Friends” to discuss FEMA’s preparations ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
“Our main focus is to support our state partners,” said Byard. “We’re also working very closely with [the] private sector to understand the supply chain and what the impacts are to that.”
He also spoke to the challenge of a long duration storm like Hurricane Dorian. “The waiting game can hurt us because our citizens may lose focus on the potential impacts of this storm.”
Associate Administrator Byard appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to remind those in Dorian’s path to remain alert to dangers the storm may present.
“We continue to prepare in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. We ask our citizens that are in the potential impact area to make sure they’re still paying attention to a very slow-moving storm,” said Byard.
He also spoke to FEMA’s commitment to support the state, tribal and local hurricane response “… FEMA will remain vigilant until this storm is well off our coast and nobody is in danger. We’ve got what we need to support what we need basically from North Carolina all the way to Florida,” said Byard.
FEMA’s Deputy Administrator for Resilience Dr. Daniel Kaniewski spoke with C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” about the assets FEMA has pre-positioned ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
“FEMA has pre-positioned assets up and down the southeastern U.S., including personnel, equipment, response teams, anything that might be needed in the immediate aftermath of the storm. That also includes food and water and other commodities,” said Kaniewski.
He also highlighted the need for state, tribal and local governments and individuals to be prepared.
“FEMA is not a first responder,” said Kaniewski. “…at all levels, individuals, local governments, state governments, and ‘we’ as the federal government not just FEMA but the entire federal government need to be prepared.”
FEMA Deputy Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery David Bibo spoke on NPR’s “Morning Edition” about the need for those in Dorian’s path to take action now.
“… please continue to take Dorian very seriously, regardless where the exact track ends up,” Bibo said. “There are potentially life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds expected along the east coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. So, that means the time for folks to take action and protect themselves and family is now.”
Bibo also addressed FEMA’s preparations ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
“We make sure our resources are deployed to the right places so we’re not late to need,” he said. “And, we do things like this [interview], which is to remind folks not to get complacent, remain vigilant, take action now to protect yourselves and your family, and heed those local officials warning. If they tell you to evacuate, get out.”
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