FEMA Administrator Dean Criswell says search teams are covering up

Communities in Florida are facing life-threatening flooding, high winds and one of the strongest hurricanes the country has ever seen. as Tropical Storm Ian It is forecast to make its way to the east coast in the coming days, with officials warning those on its way to be vigilant.

“The reports we’re getting this morning have certainly had devastating effects,” Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Dean Criswell told “CBS Mornings.” “Those who are in the path of this storm are seeing the devastating effects on them and their homes.”

Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane. As of Thursday morning, there were about 2.6 million homes and businesses in the area. without power Because of the storm, according to the national database

“It’s going to leave a huge path of destruction,” Criswell said.

Response teams, she said, are “very focused today” and have anticipated power outages before the storm hits. She advised anyone stranded to call 911, but noted that if they can’t call, help is still on.

“Know that we have people over there,” she said. “They’re going to look for them. They know where to go. We’re going to make sure we cover every square inch of area that’s been affected to make sure no one needs help.” “

He warned the people living in the affected areas to exercise caution in case of floods and storm water.

“There is a lot of water in the area. There is debris in it. It contains dangerous chemicals. Power lines can collapse. People need to take extra care,” she said. “I would say that what we often see is that we have an increase in the number of indirect fatalities after hurricanes because there are so many dangers out there.”

This morning, President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for counties across Florida, providing federal funding to help residents recover.

Criswell, who is set to brief the president on the storm Thursday, said FEMA has sufficient resources to proceed with recovery efforts at that time, but it will “continue to work with Congress if additional needs arise.” Will keep.”

“We have put together a huge search and rescue capability,” she said. “They’re out at 4:00 this morning knowing that people might be trapped, so we can go in and provide safety to as many people as possible.”

She said “saving lives” is the agency’s “number one priority”.

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