WASHINGTON – As Hurricane Sandy makes landfall on the northeast coast,the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the agency plans to move from preparation to response recovery operations as soon as weather conditions permit.
In a conference call on Monday,Craig Fugate,administrator for FEMA,said support response teams are in place,and they have already moved in more than 600,000 liters of water,490,000 meals,and dozens of blankets and cots into place from Washington to the Northeast. More than 400 generators are en route to hospitals and other large facilities.
Fugate said that FEMA,which has more than $3 billion in revenue,has enough funds for response recovery.
Rick Knabb,the Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,said Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit Monday night. The exact timing of the landfall is difficult to determine,since the hurricane is just beginning to lose its tropical storm characteristics. The storm is speeding up,but the increase is only temporary. The system will continue to bring strong winds,elevated water levels in coastal areas and heavy rainfall before and after the hurricane comes ashore,Knabb.
Knabb said his team is anticipating that the system will transition to a post-tropical cyclone later Monday. Hurricane Sandy is expected to be a long-duration event with hurricane-forced gusts from the northern Delmarva Peninsula through Rhode Island and the Massachusetts coastline.
President Barack Obama canceled campaign events in Orlando,Fla.,as the hurricane approached. From the White House briefing room,Obama said he is confident that state and federal governments have made necessary preparations for the storm. He said he is not worried about the impact of the storm on his chances of re-election on Nov. 6. Obama further advised Americans to listen to their state and local officials.
“When they tell you to evacuate,you need to evacuate,” Obama said. “Do not delay. Don’t pause. Don’t question the instructions that are being given,because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequence if people haven’t acted quickly.”
FEMA urges those in the storm’s path to monitor news reports and to have plans and emergency kits at home in their cars and at work.
States,localities and the Red Cross have opened emergency shelters along the East Coast for those who are evacuating because of flooding. To find a shelter,people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app,visit the Red Cross web site or call-1-800-733-2767.
Reach SHFWire reporter Kamrel Eppinger at [email protected] or 202-326-9866. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.