There's been a lot going on at the White House today, but in addition to the press conference, a meeting with Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and the Jewish American Heritage Month celebration, President Obama also held a meeting on hurricane preparedness.
The White House says “President Obama was briefed by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco and National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read, as well as five FEMA Regional Administrators adding their local prospective, on the outlook for hurricane season and the Federal government’s efforts to prepare all Federal partners, state and local governments, the private sector and the public for hurricanes and other emergencies.
Early today, NOAA announced it expects an “active to extremely active” hurricane season this year.
Under the President’s direction, the entire Federal family is working together to ensure not only that the Federal government is doing everything to prepare for the coming season, but that the public knows of the critical role they have in making sure they are prepared for storms and other emergencies, to include having up-to-date evacuation plans.
The President stressed that the government must ensure we consider the effects the BP oil spill could have on storms, response capabilities, and recovery efforts in planning for this year’s season but that those considerations do not change the primary mission of emergency management officials during a response, which is to support state efforts to protect lives and property.
In addition, the President urged that Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate continue to be in close contact with Governors, congressional delegations, and emergency managers in hurricane-prone states to ensure they have all the tools and resources needed to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any potential hurricanes.”