Today, the President convened a meeting in the White House Situation Room with key members of his response team to receive an update ahead of the 2013 hurricane season, which begins this Saturday, June 1st. In the meeting, which was led by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, the President received a briefing on the 2013 Hurricane Season Outlook by Acting Administrator of NOAA Kathy Sullivan and National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb, and heard from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on efforts to prepare for the season as well as a discussion of lessons learned following the 2012 season and the response to Hurricane Sandy.
A particular area of focus in the conversation was a discussion of impacts on both the electric and petroleum sectors in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The group, which included representation of the oil and gas sector, discussed the challenges that were faced attempting to solve fuel shortage issues in the impacted areas, and coordination that has taken place between federal, state, local, and private sector partners to build on lessons learned following the response.
The President made clear that he expects his team to continue to make sure that his administration is taking all necessary steps to prepare ahead of hurricanes and severe weather during this season, as well as continue to support states as they also take necessary precautions. He also said that federal, state, local, and private sector coordination remains a priority, and directed his team to continue to apply lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy to improve response wherever necessary. The President closed the meeting by stressing the shared responsibility, including among the public, to take steps to prepare ahead of events and to take warnings and directions from local officials seriously, most importantly orders to evacuate.
Participants in the meeting included:
Chief of Staff Denis McDonough
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco
Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate
Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman
Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari
Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes
EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe
NOAA Acting Administrator Kathy Sullivan
National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb
OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling
Press Secretary Jay Carney
Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Michael Froman
Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal
American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard