President Obama: Hurricane Irene statement from Martha’s Vineyard (videos)
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On August 26, 2011, President Obama delivered remarks from the Fisher House at Blue Heron Farm in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts regarding the encroaching storm: Hurricane Irene. As Irene has her eye on the East Coast from North Carolina up to Canada, preparations have been made and many states have declared emergencies before the storm makes landfall. President Obama announced he will cut his Massachusetts vacation short and will return to the White House.
Preparing for Irene’s aftermath, President Obama stated he has deployed federal resources. Earlier today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that military aid is ready and waiting to assist. More than 100,000 National Guard forces are on standby. Government forces are coordinating response efforts now; hopefully they won’t need to enter recovery mode after the storm. Fort Bragg, located in North Carolina, has been in preparation mode and has more than 200 trucks ready to deploy with resources and aid such as food, water and generators. FEMA is coordinating response efforts with military officials in states such as New Jersey, North Carolina and Massachusetts as these will be points of contacts for the military. President Obama encouraged those who aren’t familiar with hurricane preparedness to visit the sites Ready.gov or Listo.gov (the Spanish version). In addition to Federal resources, the American Red Cross has been preparing for several days and has shelters established, mobile trucks ready to activate and is a point of contact for many who will be impacted by the storm.
President Obama urged citizens to heed the warnings issued by their local and state governments, “These resources are all being coordinated with our state and local partners, and they stand ready to be deployed as necessary. But, again, if you are instructed to evacuate, please do so. It’s going to take time for first responders to begin rescue operations and to get the resources we’ve pre-positioned to people in need.
“ So the more you can do to be prepared now — making a plan, make a supply kit, know your evacuation route, follow instructions of your local officials — the quicker we can focus our resources after the storm on those who need help the most.”
Those who live in an area designated as a mandatory evacuation zone and fail to evacuate will find that they will not have access to emergency response should they need it. Those told to evacuate should follow the advice of their local governments.
You may see President Obama’s remarks in the video player to the left.
Important Hurricane Websites and Resources
American Red Cross
Google Hurricane Tracker
Hurricane Preparedness Tips
Hurricane Irene Mobile
Red Cross Blog
NOAA National Hurricane Center
NOAA National Weather Service