Obama Weighs In, Warns East Coast to ‘Prepare for the Worst’ as Irene Approaches


obamaMatzav.com Hurricane Coverage: President Obama warned that Hurricane Irene is “likely to be an extremely dangerous and costly storm” and urged Americans to “take it seriously” in an audio address from Martha’s Vineyard this morning.

“If you are in the path of this hurricane, you have to take action now,” Obama said. “Don’t wait, don’t delay – we will hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”

The president said that the federal government was deploying millions of meal and tens of thousands of cots and blankets up and down the eastern seaboard. Forecasters predict the category-2 storm will rock the coast throughout the weekend, bringing 100-mph-plus winds and inches of rain. More than 65 million Americans are within the storm’s potential path, and the direst predictions have the storm directly impacting cities like New York.

The president urged those within the path of the hurricane to prepare a supply kit and follow the instructions of local officials.

“All indications point to this being a historic hurricane,” Obama said.

Irene figures to be a major test of the president, who was highly critical of what he called the “unconscionable ineptitude” of the Bush Administration’s response to Katrina. Obama has made an effort to be engaged and involved in previous disaster response, including touring Missouri and Alabama towns devastated by tornadoes in May and bringing his family to vacation in the Gulf region during the BP oil spill.

The President was briefed early Friday morning on a conference call with senior White House officials, including Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. He also said that he has been in contact with governors and mayors of areas in the storm’s path, and pledged federal aid in their efforts.

The federal response to Irene will be coordinated by FEMA, who has already deployed assistance teams on the ground up and down the coast. The government plans to send 200 emergency response vehicles to the East Coast that will patrol storm-stricken areas and distribute meals and relief supplies, and has built up supplies of ready-to-eat meals in Virginia and Massachusetts.

But FEMA also emphasized that state and local governments would be taking the lead on relief efforts, with the federal government assisting and guiding.

“If the public’s seeing FEMA, it’s most likely if we’ve had impacts and we have requests for assistance,” Fugate said Thursday. “Otherwise, we’re doing things to get ready, but we’re not getting in front of the governor’s teams, we’re there to support them.”

The government has also been coordinating with nonprofit groups like the American Red Cross, NAACP, and the Southern Baptist Convention to open shelters and prepare supplies.

“We urge everyone to get ready. Have a kit. Have the papers that you need. Supplies for food, the right clothing that you need,” said Red Cross president Gail McGovern.

Obama plans to remain at Martha’s Vineyard through Saturday and then return to Washington D.C.

There has been no word from the White House about how the storm – which is expected to hit the D.C. area Saturday evening – might affect the President’s plans. Many commercial flights and rail service to the capital have been cancelled throughout the region, although current forecasts predict that Washington will not experience the brunt of the storm.

{The Hill/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. “anybody know the forcast for Monticello, n.y. or all of the catskills??????”

    Had you thought of turning on the radio?

    Believe me, even though goyim may read the weather forecast, it’s still halachically valid.