In advance of Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sending incident management assistance teams to multiple states along the East Cost, according to the White House.
The announcement came after a telephone call President Obama had with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb, and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan. They provided an update on the weather and what the government is doing to prepare for the storm.
Separately, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said his agency is “watching this storm very carefully.”
At this point, no decision has been made on closing federal offices.
“We will not make any determination on Monday’s status until Sunday night, when we will have a much clearer picture on the storm’s actual track," Berry said.
FEMA said it’s deploying management teams to Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Agency liaison officers are being sent to emergency centers in Maryland, Virginia, the District, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, FEMA said.
In addition, the Department of Energy plans to send emergency personnel to regional FEMA centers in Boston, New York and Philadelphia this weekend. DOE is also primed to help local authorities as they work with utility companies preparing for power outages.
When the storm hits, FEMA said, DOE will provide twice daily updates on the impact and power restoration efforts. The updates will be available here: http://www.oe.netl.doe.gov/emergency_sit_rpt.aspx .
Previous columns by Joe Davidson are available at wapo.st/JoeDavidson.