President Joe Biden addressed the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on Monday afternoon during a virtual meeting and briefing from the White House.
President Outlines Federal Assistance: The president spoke with a variety of government leaders and health officials as the damage from the Category 4 hurricane is coming more into focus. Biden confirmed that the federal government will do all that it can to assist in the search and rescue efforts in the coming days. During the meeting, Biden detailed some of these actions, including the authorization of federal drones and satellites to assess the damage. He also said that the government will meet with private sector energy organizations to help restore power to the over one million customers now in the dark.
Additional Resources: The president also said that he has deployed over 5,000 members of the National Guard to support the rescue efforts. Biden agreed with local officials that residents needed to shelter in place if it was still safe for them to do so.
In addition, the president said that the federal government is working with local authorities to distribute equipment and response teams to the affected areas. This includes the delivery of 2.5 million meals, 3 million liters of water, and an abundance of generators. Biden also said that over 100 ambulances and emergency medical teams have been deployed to provide additional help to the local authorities.
The Biden administration is also working in tandem with local resources to operate dozens of shelters for displaced individuals. More shelters were needed in order to help to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Communication with Governors: The Biden administration has remained in contact with the state governors that have been most affected by this major hurricane. Biden confirmed that his team has been in constant contact with the governors of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. In anticipation of Ida’s arrival, Biden met with FEMA officials on Sunday in Washington, DC.
The president approved Louisiana’s request for a major federal disaster declaration as well as approving a request for an emergency declaration for Mississippi. The approval of these declarations triggers federal aid to provide additional funding to the state and local recovery efforts.