The White House announced on Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is recalling some furloughed employees to help prepare for the landfall of Tropical Storm Karen.
“FEMA has begun to recall currently furloughed employees,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. He said that the agency had “reactivated the hurricane liaison team that is embedded with the National Hurricane Center in Miami.”
President Obama was “updated” on the storm and emergency relief plans earlier today and directed his team to “keep him apprised” on their preparations, Carney added.
FEMA employees are among the 800,000 federal workers furloughed when the government shut down early Tuesday after Congress failed to pass a spending bill by their Oct. 1 deadline.
The shutdown fight shows little sign of ending soon, with Obama and congressional leaders failing to make progress after a 90-minute meeting at the White House on Wednesday evening.
Obama is pressing GOP lawmakers to pass a “clean” funding bill, but Republicans want to use the continuing resolution to delay or defund Obamacare.
Tropical Storm Karen is moving through the Gulf of Mexico and a hurricane watch is in effect for regions of the U.S. coastline from Louisiana to Florida. Forecasters predict the storm could make landfall on Saturday.
Carney said Obama had urged residents in “potentially affected areas” to follow the direction of authorities and that the federal government “stands ready to assist our state and local partners.”