The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Readout of the President's Visit to FEMA

At FEMA's National Response Coordination Center today, the President participated in a video teleconference (VTC) where he heard operational updates from governors and emergency managers in impacted areas along the east coast including (in order of update based on FEMA regions) North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. These VTCs are held daily during major federal responses, and have been conducted since Monday in advance of Hurricane Irene.  The President’s participation had not been previously announced.

These VTCs are attended by Governors or their designated representatives as well as emergency managers and federal agencies involved in the response. Governors participating in the VTC and conducting updates for their states included Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Governors and state and local representatives thanked the President for the emergency declarations that have been granted to support preparations and emergency response efforts. Those pre-landfall emergency declarations to date include; North Carolina, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maryland and an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico (Aug 22).

The President also asked states if there were any unmet needs, and while no immediate additional requirements were identified, he directed Administrator Fugate and Secretary Napolitano to continue to remain vigilant as we move into the next phase of this storm, including additional sheltering needs as the storm progressed.

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