Today Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano called Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to offer the condolences and support of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) following the storms that affected much of the Midwest and Southern states this week. DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been in contact with affected states throughout the week and are continuing to closely monitor conditions following severe storms.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and with the communities affected by the recent storms," said Secretary Napolitano. "The Department's priority is to work with the impacted states to identify and address their needs, and we will continue to remain in close contact with the states as they respond to and recover from these storms."
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through regional offices in Kansas City, Mo., Chicago, Ill. and Atlanta, Ga., is in close contact with state emergency officials in states that are being affected by severe weather, including tornadoes. FEMA's National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C., and its Regional Response Coordination Center in Chicago, Ill. are fully activated to support state requests for assistance.
FEMA's regional administrators have been in touch with state emergency management officials for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee.
At all times, FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at distribution centers throughout the United States and its territories. To support the affected states, FEMA has coordinated with the Department of Defense to establish a national Incident Support Base in Kentucky to stage commodities in strategic locations close to the impacted areas, if needed and requested by the state. More than 98,000 meals and 146,000 liters of water are en route to the Incident Support Base.
Many local governments and voluntary agencies, such as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, are providing shelter to disaster survivors who have been displaced from the storms. During these times, the compassion and generosity of the American people is never more evident than after a disaster. If you would like to help residents suffering the effects of recent Midwest storms, cash donations are best. They go right to the areas of need and bring relief faster. For more information on how you can help, visit www.fema.gov/donations.
According the National Weather Service, there is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms across the eastern Gulf Coast into the coastal Carolinas. The main threat will be heavy rains across much of the Southeast today.