tv FEMA Officials Brief Ahead of Hurricane Irma Arrival CSPAN September 8, 2017 7:31am-7:49am EDT
things that is going to be a priority will be to work to do exactly what you're talking about, george, to make those connections for people. what i would like to see his programs that help us divert people away from the justice system and get the mccarran recovery services that they need [applause]. >> we at-- >> brach long is here to deliver a update on support to stay, local, common wealth and territory response efforts for hurricane irma. administrator long and secretary price. >> good morning. very similar to harvey, there is
a unified effort to help our island of partners as well as our ust partners to achieve their response and recovery goals, starting with the eyelids the goal to stabilize the virgin islands and puerto rico to make sure we are addressing all life's safety and life-sustaining issues and we are in good position. there's great communication with both governors in the island community and the objectives are clear, emergency, power restored power, life saving and life-sustaining commodities, emergency can medication and security. those are the goals we are supporting and this is a massive effort because of logistical nature of accessing islands, we are very proud to have our partners with the department of defense. they have the provided over six different navy's ships in the area that will operate today to help us accomplish-- helped our
island partners, which their goals. moving on, obviously hurricane irma continues to be a threat to devastate the us, either florida or some southeastern states. this is a complex forecast. anyone from alabama to north carolina should be watching this storm closely. of the forecast and direct impact of the storm have yet to be determined because one it's a very powerful storm, but the nature of the curve in the forecast after 72 hours is going to be the key to see who gets the worst impact here it's not a question of if florida will be impacted. it's a it-- question of how bad florida will be impacted and where the storm and up as it passes inland and i think it's important to point out any time the center of circulation of the storm travels inside that forecast whether it's on the left-hand side or right-hand side it is a good forecast and
then you have to add into that the maximum radius when, how far out hurricane wind extends and that's why i'm saying anyone right now from alabama to basically north carolina needs to monitor and take reparations. obviously, there is a lot of evacuation activity taking place in florida over the last 24 to 48 hours. he'd those warnings. the goal is to get out of the storm surge vulnerable area, wind driven, flooding waters coming onshore is the most devastating hazard associated with hurricanes. get out of the storm surge area and into a facility that can withstand wind. that doesn't mean you have to travel hundreds of miles. get out of the storm surge area into a facility that can withstand wind took later today at i know other states will also consider evacuation movements and the jurisdiction to ask for mandatory evacuations may be
directed by the governor or your local officials. make sure you understand who wishes that warning and why you are being moved and take precaution. obviously, governor scott has been leaning very far forward. we been in support of governor scott and we are helping him to address the fuel issues. as today the proactively waved with the jones act to supply more fuel to the governor get more fuel into his state. the president has been very quick to also issue disaster declaration in support of the response movement going forward and we will continue to work with our partners. with me today as secretary price from hhs. obviously emergency management is a partnership, not only a partnership across the federal government, it's a partnership through all levels of government all the way down to citizens that we saw proactively stepped forward in harvey p we will need that same community approach today with me as secretary price i would i did turn it over to
him for a few words about health and medical issues seem act thank you. anytime in an emergency you want and make sure you have the best people coordinating and i can tell you the american people could not be more proud of the folks with fema and the leadership brach long and his team are giving. over to share some words about harvey and then returned to hurricane irma. in terms of harvey, we remain in the response and recovery efforts that continue. life-saving activities transferred to life-sustaining activities. still have about 16000 people in shelters. from a health standpoint, there are four hospitals that remain closed at. abyss comes down from a high of about 30 hospitals that were closed at the peak with about 13 dialysis units comply-- closed, but there's capacity to treat all patients in the southeastern texas area and 26 nursing homes remain closed. hhs has had about 5000 patient
encounters since the beginning of the storm there and the vast majority of those unrelated to the storm itself, but needing to have attention and mostly minor health activities here cdc is working with the state to work on mitigation plan for mosquitoes and that's ongoing and will continue for days and weeks. turning to hurricane irma, in terms of the virgin islands, st. thomas hospital, maine hospital on st. thomas is closing. critical patients have been evacuated already in the remainder of the patients will be evacuated today that either to st. croix or puerto rico. in terms of florida as a brach said this remains a remarkably dangerous storm and the window to get yourself in the right spots for weathering the storm by either evacuating or weathering the storm is closing
rapidly. health and human services and others along with fema's direction redeployed a number of individuals either in atlanta or southern georgia as well as in dallas, preparation for moving into florida as the need arises and as local individuals of the state requests. we have extended waivers so that medication can be provided for longer time through pharmacies and i encourage individuals to take advantage of that. one of the things hhs does is to identify folks that are in electricity dependent poor health needs, so whether it's folks on oxygen concentrators or dialysis-- dialysis patients were electric wheelchairs in order to be mobile we share that data and provide that data to the state and have done so to florida so they can then contact of those individuals directly and there are about 5000, 5000
more dialysis patients that have been provided to the state with over 20000 electricity dependent and about 6700 patients who are electricity dependent on oxygen concentrators. want to at go brach's words about the governor's leaning in. governor scott has been a remarkable partner in all of this. they have along with the governors in georgia and south carolina have been very aggressive in making certain they get the word out to their population. we will have a couple updates, a number of updates and whatever befalls us because of the storm i can assure the american people your federal government is working diligently to make certain we can respond to whatever needs arise. thank you. >> just to recap right now, we have nearly 8000 federal government staff members the floyd and we also have commodities. you will see down here on this map, you may not be up to read it but basically for irma
specifically we have commodities stage from alabama to north carolina and actually we will run commodities out of new jersey to support us virgin islands as well as put arica today citizens, obviously it's important, you are a massive part of the response and right now the best we can help is to figure out a way to help with shelter management needs within florida and other states as they pulled evacuation triggers. there are couple websites, volunteer florida.org. right now the mission where we need citizens and neighbors helping shelters-- citizens is shelter management. please find a way to get involved and after the storms it's about setting expectations. power will be out for days in florida if not longer in some cases and we will need neighbors checking neighbors after this
event as well, so with that we will open it up for any questions. yes, sir? >> how many people do you anticipate having to evacuate in southern florida this morning? >> do we have numbers on any? >> shelter capacity is full, but we don't have numbers yet. >> what we are most concerned on is not just necessarily the number of people, we need people to listen to their local officials, but when we see evacuations taking place and what we try to do is break down the number that will need mass care support and some of those numbers are well over 100,000 people in shelters. that number is a moving target and it just depends on what type of activity takes place today, but typically if you ask 100,000 people to evacuate from a coastal county you can see shelter demand of five to make a person out of those coastal
counties were out of that number so you can imagine how hard it is. it's a difficult to accurately project. [inaudible question] seat next to the through yesterday, so we are okay. we are operating and as i have said we will not let money and paperwork in the way of us leaning forward. this is a life safety mission and we are not going to stop your congress knows what the job was that needed to get done and they worked with the white house as well as homeland security and yesterday they passed emergency appropriations. >> reporters on the ground in florida are many people in the evacuation zone and saying i have been through hurricanes before and i will ride this out like rush limbaugh who is famous as fake news. what would you like to tell
those people right now? >> no one in florida that i know have experienced a category five or for making landfall. labor day storm of 35 and then camille in 69 and andrew in 92 and andrew was a very very small compact category five appeared to what we see here in irma and even though each category five storm is different because of the maximum radius wind and the elements in brings with it, so i guarantee you i don't know anyone in florida that ever experienced a storm like this. >> so they need to get out? >> they need to get out and heed the warnings. >> can you talk about the differences and challenges between harvey and irma? >> harvey was a different storm. harvey was a rapidly intensifying the storm. number one, the intensity came up quickly.
it made a impact into port author and basically moved up to the state over five days and stalled out which copious amounts of rain. list over it-- storm is different. the key is when it starts to slow down to make its weight north and then we will have a better idea of the true impact that we will see in florida or the southeast. the bottom line is it's the steering current and model guide is clear. it's going to come up the florida peninsula and there is a lot of certainty in this forecast. we didn't have certainty in harvey. >> obviously flooding is a big concern for evacuation areas, but is there a significant health concern with the some of the floodwaters? >> absolutely. anytime you have standing water for an extended period of time there are challenges that occur.
the way we manage that is to test the water and make certain we know what's in the water and what the health challenges are. i mentioned we have seen over 5000 individuals in our medical stations pursuant to harvey and many individuals because of that exposure to the water have challenges whether it was rashes or nausea, vomiting, diarrhea because of the exposure to the water. we are working on getting tetanus vaccines to individuals who were both in harvey and any flood challenges that exist the biggest challenge from a health standpoint in the storms is making certain those folks with chronic illnesses and chronic diseases are able to hook back up with their providers. when you get displaced from your pharmacy, your doctor or clinic, for a period of time than those chronic health challenges become more acute and that's the biggest challenge we see over time. >> additional questions?
thank you. thank you. >> as this briefing wraps up a couple tweets to illustrate aspects of the hurricane, hurricane irma as it moves through florida with this picture from the national hurricane center in miami as they watch the track of hurricane irma and all indications it will hit the florida keys and a south florida tomorrow. we have this tweet also put together by meteorologist, the last category five hurricane hit the us was hurricane andrew in 1992. hurricane irma on the right probably twice the size. we also have this tweet from the director of social media for the white house, a brief video
comparing the damage that could result from a category one to make a category five hurricane. it's about a minute and a half. >> let's start off with a category one storm and the damage is not too bad. you can have some palms venting in the wind, but ever sleep-- but everything basically remained intact or category two is where you start to feel it. look at the windows of the house as they can be had from debris from the outside and it starts a breaking in a category two. trees are significantly bent over in the wind and the sizing of the house adding to erie noises inside. category three, i have heard only a category three, but it's not only anything except the bad news in a category three, you can have the door of the house blown in because the wind gets so strong. you could have the roof of the house collapse in the wind. a lot of the trees start to fall. category for, the damage is even
worse with most trees following -- falling in most of your windows breaking a category five is as high as the category scale goes to work no remains nearby. holes in the roof get so big that the walls of the house start to fall and they are not attached to anything anymore with debris in the neighborhood. catastrophic damage, but again that is just from the wind and there are other impacts from hurricane and a very through the season so stick with the weather channel to keep you safe. >> we will continue to watch the track of hurricane irma and bring you updates from governmental officials as they happen here on the c-span network. >> next, discussion about the faced realignment and closure process. lawmakers