Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today spoke with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant in preparation for Tropical Storm Isaac and to express the ongoing support from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the rest of the federal family as Isaac makes landfall.
"DHS and FEMA are committed to working closely with state and local partners to identify and address needs as communities respond to and recover from this storm," said Secretary Napolitano. "Teams have been deployed to states along the Gulf Coast to provide support as needed, and additional teams have been placed on alert. I urge residents in affected areas to continue to listen to and follow the guidance and direction of their state and local officials."
Earlier today, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate held a video-teleconference call with emergency management leadership from potentially affected states including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to assess their needs and readiness. In addition, FEMA has activated the National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C., a multi-agency coordination center that provides overall coordination of the federal response to natural disasters and emergencies. FEMA Region IV and Region VI Response Coordination Centers (RRCC) located in Atlanta, Georgia and Denton, Texas remain activated to coordinate requests for federal assistance.
FEMA has Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) and liaisons on site at the state emergency operations centers in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) teams are also on the ground in Florida and Alabama to support the states with secure and non-secure voice, video, and information services; operations and logistics; and response to requests for assistance. FEMA's Incident Support Bases (ISBs) in Jacksonville, Florida, and Montgomery Alabama also continue to proactively stage commodities closer to areas potentially affected by severe weather, allowing the federal government to quickly move supplies throughout nearby affected states, should they be needed and requested.
FEMA urges coastal residents in Florida and the Gulf Coast states to monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local news for severe weather updates and warnings, and follow instructions of state and local officials. Tropical weather systems can bring heavy rains, flooding and flash flooding, tornadoes and high winds. According to the National Weather Service advisory, a Hurricane Warning is in effect for east of Morgan City, Louisiana to the Alabama-Florida border, including metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Aucilla River; and for the Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the east of Sabine Pass to west of Intracoastal City, Louisiana.
Residents in potentially impacted states are encouraged to have an emergency plan, including local evacuation routes, places to evacuate or seek shelter, family contact information and important paperwork. For more information, visit Ready.gov (Listo.gov para español) for tips on creating a family emergency plan, getting an emergency kit and taking other steps to prepare.
Yesterday, President Obama was briefed by FEMA Administrator Fugate and National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb on the projected track and timing of the storm as well as steps being taken by the Administration to support potentially impacted states; and Secretary Napolitano called New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to discuss the city's preparations for the storm.
Under the direction of President Obama and Secretary Napolitano, FEMA is continuing close, regular coordination with leading federal agencies, state, tribal and local partners, as well as private sector, faith-based and voluntary organizations. FEMA encourages everyone to take steps to ensure their families, homes and businesses are prepared for a possible emergency.
For more information, visit www.ready.gov.