Feds ready East Coast for Hurricane Sandy

National Hurricane Center workers monitor the storm Friday. National Hurricane Center workers monitor the storm Friday. Lynne Sladky/AP

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is “on alert” for Hurricane Sandy and is preparing its resources for the storm’s landfall, FEMA’s director said in a conference call Friday.

“We don’t have an exact point to focus on yet,” Craig Fugate said, “and this won’t be a point specific as much as an area specific, but we are moving resources into the mid-Atlantic and into the Northeast as a precaution.”

FEMA’s incident management assistance teams, predesignated federal coordinating officers, logistical state bases and supplies are all ready for deployment, according to Fugate. He added it is too early to determine if evacuations will be necessary, but encouraged affected residents to heed any advice or directives that local officials issue.

Fugate, as well as National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb and homeland security adviser John Brennan briefed President Obama on the storm, the White House announced Friday.

We encourage citizens living along the Eastern seaboard to listen to local officials and monitor weather reports in the days ahead,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. “The president asked his team to continue regular briefings on the storm as it progresses northward.”

The National Guard announced Friday that it is making 61,000 guardsmen available for duty should their services be needed in the wake of the storm.

The District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia all have declared states of emergency and the latter has authorized 300 National Guardsmen to prepare for the hurricane. Other states along the coast and throughout the region also were organizing National Guards to prepare for the storm.

“We are monitoring Hurricane Sandy closely and coordinating with our federal, state and local partners to ensure a coordinated and efficient response,” Army Gen. Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in a statement. “Rest assured the National Guard is poised and ready to provide proven responders and capabilities.”

Michael Kucharek, a spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command said the Army has deployed defense coordinating elements -- the Defense Department’s first responders to a disaster -- to support FEMA in Maynard, Mass., and Albany N.Y.

These teams are equipped with Chevy Suburbans packed with communications gear, including satellite systems to access Defense networks and radios to communicate with state and local emergency responders.

Military installations along the East Coast are “making appropriate preparations” for Sandy, but no evacuations had been ordered by Friday afternoon, according to a Pentagon spokesman, who added evacuations could go into effect during the weekend. Navy installations in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia were ordered to Tropical Cyclone Condition Four, prompting preparations including securing hazards and clearing debris from drainage areas.

The National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center said Friday a hurricane warning is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, and a tropical storm warning is in effect for northeast Florida, where rain was expected to begin on Friday evening. While the storm is currently designated as a hurricane, it is expected to be downgraded to a tropical and then to extra-tropical storm, but will retain the name Sandy throughout, officials said.

NHC projected the storm to continue to move north and possibly reach the Carolinas on Saturday.  

--

Nextgov's Bob Brewin contributed to this report. 

This story has been updated with details. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.