FEMA Coordinating Hurricane Response
Several federal agencies are participating in the preparations for Hurricane Sandy, including DoD, FAA, the Coast Guard, and the Department of Energy.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the federal government's preparations to support states expected to be affected by Hurricane Sandy in the next few days. President Obama was briefed Saturday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb, and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan about the large, Category 1 hurricane.
FEMA deployed liaison officers to emergency operation centers in Washington, D.C., Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia to help coordinate if additional support is needed. At the states' request, the agency also deployed Incident Management Assistance Teams -- these are rapid-response teams comprised of trained, specialized personnel able to deploy within hours -- to coastal states including Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia to assist state and local partners as they prepare.
Other agencies participating in the preparations are the U.S. Northern Command of DoD, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Coast Guard. FEMA and DoD are establishing Incident Support Bases in Westover, Mass. and Lakehurst, N.J. to position supplies, including water, meals, and blankets. (FEMA maintains millions of liters of water, millions of meals, and hundreds of thousands of blankets at distribution centers throughout the United States and its territories, including centers in Atlanta and Frederick, Md.)
"This is a large storm that is forecasted to impact the mid-Atlantic and other parts of the East Coast with strong winds, coastal flooding, inland flooding, rain, and snow," Fugate said. "People should be ready for the possibility of power outages paired with cold temperatures. Now is the time to prepare. Review your emergency plans, check your supplies, and stay informed."
In addition, the American Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of disaster workers, readying shelters, and coordinating efforts with community partners. To find an open Red Cross shelter, download the Red Cross Hurricane app or visit www.redcross.org.