Directly from the office of the president, we have information regarding what actions President Donald Trump took to prepare for Hurricane Florence. He has done quite a bit to ensure the affected areas will have everything they need.
Paul Teller, special assistant to the president for legislative affairs, sent out a message Friday detailing the federal response. The message was lengthy because the actions taken are many.
The message began: “IMMEDIATE SUPPORT IN PLACE: President Donald J. Trump’s Administration put preparations in place to assist States and local governments ahead of Hurricane Florence. More than 3,800 Federal Employees, including more than 1,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are working with State and local partners to respond to Hurricane Florence.
“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) prepositioned more than 560 personnel ahead of Florence to support health and medical needs if requested. HHS and FEMA have multiple teams in North and South Carolina, including: 6 FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT), 14 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, 4 HHS Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT), and One HHS Incident Management Team (IMT)”
But that isn’t even close to all the preparations.
“Additional resources are staged in Virginia and Maryland and ready to move into impacted areas as needed, including: 3 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces in Virginia, 3 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams Maryland.” Also, “FEMA has 6 Incident Support Bases in North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, and Alabama readily supporting the needs of affected states.”
In a Twitter post Sunday, Trump said the recovery work is already beginning.
FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement are working really hard on hurricane Florence. As the storm begins to finally recede, they will kick into an even higher gear. Very Professional!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2018
The president also enlisted the aid of the military. “The United States Coast Guard pre-staged forces in the affected region, including: 58 personnel, 4 response boats, 10 Flood Response Boat Teams, 13 Incident Management Assistance Teams, and 17 National Strike Force teams.”
Power is always a huge concern when natural disasters hit. That has also been addressed in planning.
“PROTECTING THE POWER GRID: The Trump Administration is ready to rapidly assist in restoring power after Hurricane Florence and protect nuclear power plants in the path. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) deployed a Temporary Emergency Power Team to North Carolina and additional team leaders are on-site across the region.
“More than 40,000 workers from at least 17 states have been mobilized by electric companies, public power utilities, and electric cooperatives. The Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA are helping to coordinate these ongoing preparations ahead of Florence.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) worked with power companies to shut down nuclear plants ahead of the storm to comply with regulatory standards during extreme weather and pre-positioned inspectors ready to monitor post-hurricane.”
And no, even that’s not all.
“ON SITE SUPPORT: President Trump’s Administration is working with State, Local, and private sector partners to support response efforts following Hurricane Florence’s impact. President Trump has approved emergency disaster declarations for North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, allowing the Federal government to provide enhanced support.”
On Sunday morning, the Coast Guard Commandent Karl Schultz told ABC Trump was “completely leaning in” on storm reaction.
“We feel very confident,” he said.
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Shultz, who briefs Pres. Trump on Hurricane Florence, says "the president is completely leaning in — anything the feds need to do to support the locals, the state partners … we feel fully supported" https://t.co/00VbJpsw80 #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/Fu7OjXodpo
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 16, 2018
“Federal resources are pre-positioned in the region, including: over 100 helicopters, over 6 million meals, over 4 million liters of water, over 6,000 cots, and over 730,000 blankets. These pre-positioned resources are ready to augment private sector, State, local, and volunteer organization capacities.
“In addition, non-governmental partners are providing mobile kitchen units capable of preparing more than 300,000 meals per day. FEMA is working to prepare for a sheltering event of over 100,000 people.”
Talking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, Trump said the government was ready:
President Trump on Hurricane Florence: 'We have food for days. We have emergency equipment and generators for many days. We should be in great shape.' https://t.co/XyvhJm6yQf #7News pic.twitter.com/fQPP0TBYkX
— 7News Boston WHDH (@7News) September 11, 2018
Waivers are also being given to make sure that those in need are getting help.
“To ensure fuel supply following Florence, the Environmental Protection Agency is working with State and local authorities in coastal communities to issue fuel waivers as needed. HHS has provided Medicare and Medicaid waivers to allow those who depend on benefits to seek care if they are displaced due to Florence’s impact.”
The administration also made a priority of evacuations. “Veterans Affairs has performed mandatory evacuations and ensured all our facilities have topped off their energy and oxygen supplies, and have enough food until September 29. The Department of Transportation has assisted state and local authorities in making sure evacuations are as seamless as possible.”
Accurate information, presented in a timely manner, is also an area of concern for the Trump administration. Measures have also been taken to address those concerns.
“The Trump Administration is working with private sector partners to ensure critical information is released to the public in a timely and accurate manner. FEMA has launched a rumor control page – https://www.fema.gov/florence-rumors – in an effort to avoid the spread of false information post-hurricane.”
Despite these efforts, of course, Trump is already under attack from his critics. But those giving the help and getting it know the truth.
In this case, the federal government’s actions and forethought are making a difference.
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