Congressman Brian Higgins joined Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz to provide emergency preparedness information in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.
"On Sunday evening the White House notified our office that the President has signed the request from Governor Cuomo for an Emergency Declaration for the State of New York," said Rep. Higgins, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and its subcommittees on Border and Maritime Security & Counterterrorism and Intelligence. "This action allows for federal agencies to step in and provide critical assistance and support when needed."
The Emergency Declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures in Erie County and all counties in the State of New York. Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to lessen the impacts of the emergency.
Other federal agencies are lending a hand as well. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has dispatched emergency teams across the East Coast to assist with critical infrastructure needs. The Department of Energy, in conjunction with FEMA, is working with utility companies to assist with pre-mobilization and power restoration efforts. The Federal Aviation Administration is working with airlines to protect citizens and facilities in the storm path and re-establish air traffic service.
Higgins said, "We will continue to work with local and federal agencies to see that Western New York is protected and has the resources necessary to prepare for and recover from emergency situations. Most important, we urge residents to stay safe and follow directions coming from local leaders and emergency personnel managing the situation on the ground."
Regular updates on the storm and federal emergency efforts are available online at:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's website: www.FEMA.gov
The National Weather Service: www.weather.gov
Or for tips about how to prepare yourself and your family for emergencies visit: www.Ready.gov