Remarks by the President at Hurricane Preparedness Briefing
2:18 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: We’re here at FEMA’S National Response Coordination Center to get an update on this year’s preparations for hurricane season, which begins on Sunday. I want to thank Secretary Jeh Johnson as well as FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate for leading this briefing. And I also want to thank all the hardworking employees in all the departments that are responsible for helping us prepare, respond to, and recover from emergencies.
States still have the primary role in preparing for and responding to disasters, and we’ll continue to make sure that they get the full resources that they need, the support they need to back them up. But it’s also every citizen’s responsibility to make sure that we are prepared for emergencies when they come -- and not just hurricanes but every emergency. And that’s why I want to thank the representatives that we have from not just the Department of Energy, but also the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as the folks from Orange County, Florida, who have developed mobile apps to give residents the ability to plan, prepare for, to get faster notice of, and respond to emergencies.
Before a hurricane is even on the horizon, these apps can help families develop emergency plans, figure out evacuation routes, and receive emergency alerts. After a storm, one app provides information about power outages and where gas stations might be open. Others show residents where to find shelter and water. So I encourage every American to visit ready.gov -- that’s our national website where you can go and get every bit of information you need to figure out whether you’re ready in the event, heaven forbid, something happens, you can get even more information about family emergency plans and supply kits and the plans that are taking place in your community.
And over the larger term, the changes we’re seeing in our climate means that, unfortunately, storms like Sandy could end up being more common and more devastating. And that’s why we’re also going to be doing more to deal with the dangers of carbon pollution that help to cause this climate change and global warming. And that’s why we’re also, with the terrific help of these departments, thinking of how we can build more resilient infrastructure.
But, obviously, more urgently, as hurricane season begins, we have to remember that responding to a hurricane is a team effort and everybody is going to have a role to play on the federal, state, and local levels. So I encourage every family and business owner to check out ready.gov and see what you can do to be prepared.
And while I’m here I also want to thank not only the staff employees who each and every day without a lot of attention are helping communities deal with disasters, but I also want to thank all the first responders out there all across the family, because when they’re called on, they’re the ones who have to get there first and often put themselves at risk and do an amazing job.
Thank you, everybody.
2:22 P.M. EDT