"The government is ready to help," Bush said he told the leaders of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
"I told all four governors the people of this country are praying for their safety," Bush said. "We pray that the storm passes as quickly as possible without any loss of life or loss of property."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (search) has stored ice, water and generators in warehouses so supplies can be delivered quickly to affected areas, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. He said disaster-response and relief teams, including urban search and rescue units, were being deployed.
"FEMA will deploy supplies and equipment to those areas that are hardest hit first, especially the water, ice and the meals," McClellan said.
Facing re-election, Bush has made two trips to Florida in recent weeks to inspect hurricane damage. On Tuesday he asked Congress for an additional $3.1 billion to help Florida and other states recover from recent hurricanes.