As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida, President Joe Biden has contacted the mayors of three Florida communities to reassure them that the federal government is prepared to provide food, shelter, and assistance once the storm has passed.
A read out of the call released by the White House said that Biden also advised the mayors to urge citizens to follow evacuation instructions.
According to FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell, the organization is particularly worried about storm surges and the storm’s sluggish movement, which may cause persistent damage to Florida’s west coast.
She predicted that Florida residents will be affected by this storm’s effects for a very long period because it is predicted to weaken to 5 miles per hour (8 kilometers per hour) when it approaches the state.
As it moved northward toward Florida, where inhabitants are nervously awaiting the massive storm, the Category 3 hurricane struck western Cuba on Tuesday, prompting evacuations, cutting electricity to over 1 million people, and knocking roofs off homes.
According to Criswell, the American government already has 128,000 gallons of gasoline, 300 members of the Army Corps of Engineers, 3.7 million meals, over 3 million gallons of water, 29 Red Cross shelters, 200 ambulances, and four medical teams in place.
As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida’s western shore, the New York Post reports that Biden contacted the three Florida mayors on Tuesday, but he didn’t call Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, with whom he has spat over matters like COVID-19 regulations and immigration.
During times of crisis, presidents routinely communicate directly with governors in order to show political cohesion and facilitate the coordination of relief efforts on the federal and state levels.
Biden’s conversation with the mayors was joined by Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who claimed that Biden had given her the task of communicating with DeSantis on Friday.
“Before we even made the proclamation, the president told me to get in touch with the governor. I did,” she affirmed. My regional administrator is now with the governor to ensure that we are aware of the demands and that the current life safety requirements are our main concern.
Biden has already signed an emergency declaration boosting government help to the Sunshine State, according to the FEMA administrator who spoke at the monthly White House briefing.
In an interview with reporters, Criswell said, “He really wanted to make sure that the mayors knew that he has committed the full force of the federal family to make sure that we are there to support them and what they need and then they can reach out to me [and] they can reach out to him anytime with any needs that they may have in the wake of this storm.”
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