“FEMA has worked diligently to pre-position resources, assets, water, food, commodities,” Obama said in comments from the Oval Office on Friday. “And as the hurricane moves north, what FEMA (Administrator) Craig (Fugate) and his team will be doing is moving those resources and assets further north so that any place that happens to get hit badly, we’ll be in a position to immediately come in and help.”
Crediting the governors of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina for being “on top of this,” Obama advised people to pay attention to their calls regarding evacuation.
“Do what they say,” Obama said. “Do not be a holdout here, because we can always replace property, but we can’t replace lives.”
On Thursday, Obama signed an order to coordinate supplies and equipment for Florida in advance of Hurricane Matthew.
“Even if the damage in South Florida wasn’t as bad as it could be, there are people who’ve been affected, and for them, they’re going to need help,” Obama said Friday.
Meanwhile, Scott said he’s requested that Obama declare a “major disaster” for Florida because of the storm. Scott is seeking additional food, water, tarps, generators, water pumps, search and rescue teams, hazmat assessment teams, cots, blankets, food distribution vehicles and helicopters.
“For our local communities that need more resources we will continue to make more requests as needed,” Scott said Friday morning at the state Emergency Operations Center.