Readout of Presidential Briefing on Sandy Recovery Efforts
This morning, the President received an update from the National Weather Service on the high winds, rain, snow and cold temperatures associated with the coastal low that’s bearing down on the Northeast. The President also convened a conference call with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan and Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco. The President heard from his team about the federal resources, personnel and expertise being used to support state and local recovery efforts in the wake of Sandy, including efforts to take additional steps to support preparedness efforts ahead of the severe weather. At the requests of New York and New Jersey, FEMA continues to deliver commodities including food, water, blankets, generators and others resources to distribution points across the region impacted by Sandy, and FEMA continues to pre-position additional resources and supplies to ensure they are in place if needed by our state and local partners to respond to the coastal low. The President was also updated on efforts to coordinate with state and local officials on emergency housing needs and long term housing problems caused by the storm. He was also briefed on the ongoing efforts to improve access to gasoline and restore electricity in communities impacted by Sandy. Given the bad weather conditions caused by the coastal low, the President closed the call by expressing his concern for the safety of people who live in communities damaged by Sandy as well as the first responders, relief workers and utility crews who are working round-the-clock to help those communities recover.