WASHINGTON – The White House is battening down the hatches as Hurricane Isabel (search) approaches.
"We are working to secure items that may be blown away in the event of the high winds here," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday. "This could include flags. It could include the awnings around the complex. Those will likely be brought down. We'll be checking the drains in the complex to be sure that they are clear."
President Bush received a briefing on Wednesday morning about Isabel, the storm expected to hit the East Coast on Thursday, by Tom Ridge, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (search), and Mike Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (search). They talked about ways to ensure coordination among state, federal and local officials to assess damage and provide assistance, McClellan said.
He said federal officials are having video teleconference calls with state and local authorities, and FEMA has deployed liaison teams and equipment to areas the hurricane could damage to help coordinate response.
"Some of that propositioning included cots and food and water, generators -- things of that nature," McClellan said.