Weekly Wrap Up: “What’s Brightest in America”
Here's the week in review of the federal response to Hurricane Sandy:
Sunday: President Obama traveled to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington D.C. to meet with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino, and the FEMA regional directors, to ensure federal resources were pre-positioned and plans were in place to support state and local response efforts.
Monday: The President convened a meeting in the White House Situation Room, and received updates from FEMA and the National Hurricane Center on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy. Following the briefing, the President urged residents in the path of Hurricane Sandy to follow the directions of their state and local officials.
Tuesday: Tuesday morning, the President and other officials met in the White House Situation Room to receive updates on the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Federal response teams had already started providing assistance to those affected by the storm. And overnight, at the request of the governors, the President approved major disaster declaration for New Jersey and New York, making additional federal support for state and local efforts available.
Tuesday afternoon, the President traveled to the U.S. Red Cross headquarters in Washington D.C. to provide updates on federal efforts to assist with the recovery and cleanup of Hurricane Sandy. He made clear that there was no excuse for inaction, and for federal agencies to do what is necessary to get people the help they need as quickly as possible:
There are places like Newark, New Jersey, for example, where you’ve got 80, 90 percent of the people without power. We can't have a situation where that lasts for days on end. And so my instructions to the federal agency has been, do not figure out why we can't do something; I want you to figure out how we do something. I want you to cut through red tape. I want you to cut through bureaucracy. There’s no excuse for inaction at this point. I want every agency to lean forward and to make sure that we are getting the resources where they need -- where they're needed as quickly as possible.
Wednesday: The President toured New Jersey to witness first-hand the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and comfort the Americans affected by the storm. The President and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie surveyed the damage from Marine One, then walked the streets of Brigantine, and visited a community center now serving as shelter for displaced citizens. He reminded the American people of our remarkable ability to come together as a country when we go through tough times, and the importance of never leaving anybody behind:
And when you see folks like that respond with strength and resilience, when you see neighbors helping neighbors, then you're reminded about what America is all about. We go through tough times, but we bounce back. And the reason we bounce back is because we look out for one another and we don’t leave anybody behind. And so my commitment to the people on this block, the people in this community, and the people of this state is that that same spirit will carry over all the way through until our work is done.
Recovery and Cleanup: Recovery and cleanup in the wake of Hurricane Sandy has now started along much of the East Coast. As survivors of the storm begin to deal with the aftermath of the giant storm, people across the country are asking what they can do to offer aid to their fellow Americans, and the federal government remains committed to providing all available resources to support affected areas, as directed by President Obama.
We've put together this page to help you find the information you're looking for, whether you want to get help, or get involved in the recovery process.
To learn more:
- Watch this video on how you can help organizations on the ground with the recovery
- Check out the photo gallery of President Obama’s Tour of Storm Damage in New Jersey
- Visit FEMA.gov/Sandy