On Saturday morning, Obama convened a call with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb, and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan to talk about the monster storm.
“Because Hurricane Sandy could produce significant precipitation over widespread areas and has the potential to cause significant power outages, FEMA continues to encourage state and local authorities responsible for coordinating with local utility companies to do so ahead of any impacts,” the White House said in a readout of the call. “The President reiterated his direction to his team to ensure there were no unmet needs as states continue to prepare, and to keep him updated as preparations for the storm continue.”
United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) is placing aviation assets such as light and medium lift helicopters and rescue teams on 24 hour Prepare to Deploy Order status in response to Hurricane Sandy, the Defense Department reported.
Lawmakers also scrambled to reach out to constituents about the need to prepare, whether the forecast said hurricane or tropical storm.
“Please – pay attention to the news media for updates, clear the way for first responders, check on those who might need assistance including seniors, and above all – stay safe!” Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), who represents Virginia Beach and Norfolk, emailed to constituents along with links to local emergency alerts and the number to report power outages.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) put a hurricane resource center on his website. “As we track this potential super-storm, I encourage families to stay together,” he said. “And please take special care to look in on elderly or disabled neighbors and friends. Let’s all do our best to look out for each other.”