the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the President’s Briefing on Response and Recovery Efforts

Today, the President convened a call with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, and other senior members of his response team. On the call the President received the latest update from his team on ongoing efforts to support governors and local officials in impacted states, who continue to work to restore power and meet fuel challenges impacting communities across the affected region. Both Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate are on the ground in affected areas today, New Jersey and New York respectively, and both are meeting with the Governors and other local officials to identify additional needs and ensure federal resources are being deployed most effectively to support response and recovery efforts.

The President made clear that he expects his team to stay completely focused on meeting the needs of our state and local partners, and the families that have been impacted by the storm. DOD and FEMA continue to work together to bring additional fuel to the region in support of the Governors, and federal partners continue to support power restoration activities. FEMA, working with the Red Cross, also continues to bring food, water, and other resources into affected communities and working with the states is supporting the establishment of Disaster Recovery Centers where individuals can apply for assistance and receive needed resources.

This morning, FEMA Administrator Fugate traveled to New York where he met with Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, County Executives, and other local officials, to discuss the ongoing response and recovery efforts as well as longer term challenges. Fugate then traveled to the New York Office of Emergency Management to meet with Joe Bruno, commissioner for the New York Office of Emergency Management. Later in the day, the Administrator will visit the communities of Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point in Queens, NY, to meet with FEMA staff working on-the-ground to register disaster survivors for financial assistance. The Administrator will also visit with voluntary organizations working hand in hand with state and local officials to assistance disaster survivors.

Secretary Napolitano is on the ground in New Jersey today, meeting with state and local officials and review ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy. As part of her visit, the Secretary will travel to Monmouth County and Hoboken, and will meet local officials including Governor Chris Christie, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and other state and local officials.

As of this morning, some 4,400 FEMA personnel are on the ground in the region, 164,000 residents of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York have applied for assistance with FEMA, and the agency has approved more than $137 million in rental and other forms of financial assistance to be provided directly to the people in need. Affected individuals and families can register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or visiting on a computer or mobile device.