tv FEMA Officials Brief Ahead of Hurricane Irma Arrival CSPAN September 8, 2017 12:48pm-1:08pm EDT
>> all right. good morning, everybody. very similar to harvey. there's a unified effort to lean forward to help our island partners as well as our u.s. state partners to achieve their response and recovery goals. starting with the islands, the goal right now is to stabilize the virgin islands and puerto rico. to make sure that we are addressing all life safety and life sustaining issues and we're in really good position to help them do that. there's great communication with both goranners -- governors in the island communities and the objectives are very clear. emergency power and restoring power. life-sustaining commodities, emergency communications and security. so those are the goals that we're currently supporting. and this is a massive effort. because of the logistical nature of being able to access islands, we are very proud to have our partners with the
department of defense, they provided over six different navy ships in the area that will be operating today to help us accomplish -- or help our island partners accomplish their goals. move on, obviously hurricane irma continues to be a threat that is going to zverev state -- devastate the united states, either florida or some of the southeastern states. mr. long: this is a complex forecast. anybody from alabama to north carolina should be watching this storm very closely. the forecast and the direct impacts of this storm have yet to be determined. because, one, it's a very powerful storm. but the nature of the curve and that forecast after 72 hours is going to be the key to see who gets the worst impacts here. it's not a question of if florida's going to be impacted. it's a question of how bad florida's going to be impacted. and where the storm ends up over the next four to five days as it passes inland. and i think it's very important to point out, any time the
center of circulation of that storm travels inside that forecasted air cone, it's a good forecast. then you have to add into that the maximum radius winds, how far out hurricane winds extend from that center of circulation. so that's why i'm saying, anybody right now from alabama to basically north carolina needs to be monitoring and taking preparations. obviously there's a lot of evacuation activity taking place in florida over the last 24 to 48 hours. heed all local warnings. the goal is, get out of a storm surge-vulnerable area. that's wind-driven coastal storm surge flooding waters coming onshore. that's the most devastating hazard associated with hurricanes. get out of that storm surge area and get into a facility that can with stand the winds. that doesn't mean you have to travel hundreds of miles to do so. but get out of the storm surge area, into a facility that can with stand the winds. later today, i know that other states are also considering
evacuation movement. the jurisdiction to ask or call for mandatory evacuations may be directed by the governor or your local officials. so make sure you understand who issues that warning and why you're being moved and take precautions. obviously governor scott has been leaning very far forward. we have been in support of governor scott. we're helping him to address the fuel issues. yesterday the president proactively waived the jones act, to be able to supply more fuel to help the governor get more fuel into his state. the president has been very quick to also issue disaster declarations in support of the response movements that are going forward. and we will continue to work with our partners. with me today is secretary price from h.h.s. this is a partnership across the federal government, it's a partnership through all levels of government, all the way down
to the citizens that we saw proactively step forward in harvey. we're going to need that same whole-community approach today. with me is secretary price. i'd like to turn it over to him for a few words about health and medical issues. mr. price: thanks, brock. any time in an emergency you want to make certain you have the best people coordinating. i can tell that you the american people couldn't be more proud of the folks at fema and the leadership that brock long and his team are giving. i want to share a few words about harvey and then turn to irma. in terms of harvey, we remain in the response and recovery efforts that continue. the life-saving activities are transferring to life-sustaining activities. still have about 16,000 people in shelter, from a health standpoint, there are four hospitals that is remain closed . this comes down from a high of about 30 hospitals that were closed at the peak. about 13 dialysis units are closed but there's capacity to accommodate all of the patients
in the southeastern texas area. 26 nursing homes remain closed. again, the capacity has been able to handle patients who were moved from those nursing homes. h.h.s. itself has had about -- over 5,000 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. c.d.c. is working with the state to work on a mitigation plan for mosquitoes in the vector. and that is ongoing and will continue for days and weeks. turning to irma. in terms of the virgin islands, st. thomas hospital, the hospital on st. thomas is closing. the critical patientses have been evacuated already. and the remainder of those patients will be evacuated today. either to st. croix or to puerto rico. in terms of florida, as brock said this remains a remarkably
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