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President Obama Urges Caution for Those in the Path of Hurricane Sandy

As states across the East Coast begin to feel the impact of Hurricane Sandy, President Obama asks residents to heed warnings from local officials.
President Obama talks to employees at FEMA

President Barack Obama delivers a statement after receiving an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy, in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Oct. 29, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Communities up and down the East Coast of the United States are beginning to feel the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Today, President Obama convened a meeting in the White House Situation Room to receive updates from FEMA and the National Hurricane Center.

Following that briefing, the President discussed how federal emergency response teams are moving resources into place to ensure that potentially affected areas have the food, water, and disaster relief supplies they need to begin recovery

“Obviously, everybody is aware at this point that this is going to be a big and powerful storm,” the President said. “And all across the Eastern seaboard, I think everybody is taking the appropriate preparations."

He also urged residents in the path of Hurricane Sandy to heed warnings from local officials.

“The most important message that I have for the public right now is, please listen to what your state and local officials are saying,” he said from the White House Briefing Room. “When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Do not delay. Don’t pause; don’t question the instructions that are being given, because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequence if people haven’t acted quickly." (You can watch the President's full remarks below).

We also want to make sure you have the latest guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Here are their up-to-the-minute recommendations:

  • Follow the direction of local officials – If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Know the forecast in your area – Continue to monitor your NOAA Weather Radio and your local news for severe weather updates, warnings and watches. Follow your forecast at on your computer or on your phone.
  • Turn around, don't drown – The potential for heavy rains can also lead to flooding, or flash flooding in some areas.  Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous.
  • Make final preparations – If you’re further inland, now is the time to make final preparations.  Be ready for power outages and stock up on emergency supplies of food, water, medications, and other supplies.
  • Check on your neighbor – Make sure they’re ready, too.
  • Finding shelters: Download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, or check your local media outlets.  You should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. Finally, you can download the FEMA smartphone app or text SHELTER and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA).  Standard rates apply
  • Donate blood: If you’re not in an affected area, please consider donating blood, because numerous blood drives have been canceled as a result of the storm.  To schedule a blood donation or for more information about giving blood or platelets, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

For information, visit