White House makes clear that snowstorms are a priority

Commuters got stuck and power went out across the Washington region as snow and ice fell Wednesday afternoon and night.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 1, 2011; 1:12 PM

The Obama administration, though focused on the turbulence in Egypt for much of the past several days, isn't ignoring an issue that affects millions of Americans: snowfall.

White House officials are taking pains to show they are aware of the massive snowstorms hitting the middle of the country. The administration released to the media this afternoon details of the president's conference call with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Craig Fugate, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Fugate will join White House press secretary Robert Gibbs to brief reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

"The President stressed the need to be prepared for all scenarios, including significant power outages across the country, and that state and federal agencies need to work closely to support affected communities," according to the White House's description of the call with Napolitano and Fugate. "The President also reinforced the importance of the ongoing efforts to encourage Americans in the path of the storm to take the steps needed to be prepared."

For good measure, the White House released a photo of Obama reading a briefing memo prepared by FEMA.

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