Clinton, King Continue Push to Get Vital Hurricane Supplies on Long Island
With 2008 Hurricane Season Now Underway Prepositioned Supplies Are Vital To The Safety and Wellbeing Of Nassau And Suffolk Residents
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congressman Peter King called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to finalize an agreement with the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) to allow for the storage of prepositioned hurricane supplies on Long Island with the 2008 hurricane season beginning this June. In a letter to FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison, Senator Clinton and Congressman King focused on the need for Nassau and Suffolk Counties to have the necessary commodities on Long Island in the event of a hurricane or other disaster were to strike the area. With emergency management officials from Nassau and Suffolk visiting Washington the week of June 9, the lawmakers also requested that FEMA meet with representatives from their offices and both counties in an effort to quickly resolve the outstanding issues.
"I find it unacceptable that FEMA would continue to delay this decision which is vital to ensuring that Long Islanders will be prepared and equipped if a hurricane should hit the area this season," said Senator Clinton. "We've seen what the consequences of being unprepared for natural disasters can bring, and I urge FEMA to work with State and local emergency management officials so that we can resolve these issues and get the necessary supplies prepositioned on Long Island."
"Hurricane season has already begun and FEMA must no longer delay the supplying process," said Rep. King.
A copy of the Clinton-King letter is below -
June 3, 2008
The Honorable R. David Paulison
Federal Emergency Management Agency
United States Department of Homeland Security
500 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20472
Dear Mr. Paulison:
We are writing to express our disappointment that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has not finalized an agreement with New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and Nassau and Suffolk Counties for the storage of prepositioned hurricane supplies for the 2008 hurricane season. As you are aware, we have written to FEMA several times regarding this issue, urging FEMA to reach an agreement with officials so that these supplies could be positioned and available for the start of the 2008 hurricane season. As you know, the hurricane season commenced on Sunday, June 1.
We understand that FEMA representatives met with the counties on May 1, 2008 to examine potential warehouse space for the storage of these commodities and that the three spaces inspected have been rejected by FEMA. However, it is our understanding that the facilities can be retrofitted to meet FEMA's requirements and, in fact, it is Nassau County's intention to do so. In light of this, we urge FEMA to work with SEMO and Nassau and Suffolk County officials to finalize the requisite storage agreement as quickly as possible so that the supplies can be positioned on Long Island for the duration of the 2008 hurricane season.
In addition, we understand that emergency management officials from Nassau and Suffolk Counties will be in Washington, D.C. during the week of June 9th. We request that FEMA representatives make themselves available to meet with our staffs and county officials in Senator Clinton's office to discuss this matter and to resolve the outstanding issues that are delaying an agreement.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senator
Peter T. King
Member of Congress