White House: FEMA readying response to winter storm

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The White House on Wednesday said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had mobilized its response centers as a severe winter storm moved up the East Coast.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that President Obama was being briefed on the storm and preparations to aid affected residents.

“He directed his team to stay in close touch with our federal partners as well as the state and local officials leading the response,” he said.

On Tuesday, Obama declared an emergency for counties in Georgia and authorized FEMA to aid the state in efforts to assist residents.

“FEMA has deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team to the Georgia Emergency Operations Center and additional teams are on alert for deployment as needed,” said Carney.

“FEMA has liaisons in the Emergency Operations Centers of South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, and has identified liaisons for other impacted states ready to deploy should they be requested,” he added.

Additionally, the agency’s distribution centers were preparing to distribute supplies including “generators, meals, water, blankets and cots” if needed.

Carney urged local residents to follow instructions from state and local officials and emergency workers.

The storm hit the southeast Wednesday with forecasters predicting as much as 10 inches of snow in the nation’s capital as the storm heads north.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” Carney also announced the White House would reschedule one of Obama’s events for Thursday, the launch of his “My Brother’s Keeper initiative.”

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