FEMA chief warns East Coast residents to prepare for Hurricane Isaias: 'Heed' state and local authorities

Administrator Peter Gaynor on preparing for Hurricane Isaias

bracing for Hurricane Isaias; insight from FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor.

As Hurricane Isaias takes aim at the East Coast, FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor is urging people in the sprawling danger zone to prepare.

Gaynor, appearing Saturday on "Cavuto LIVE," cautioned residents of coastal states to follow the instructions of state and local emergency managers.

HURRICANE ISAIAS' IMPACT MAY BE FELT IN FLORIDA TONIGHT AS STORM CHARTS PATH FOR EAST COAST

"Don't bet your life on what the forecast – the tracking intensity – will . Today is the day to make those final preparations so you' ready, no matter what happens," he said. "Make yourself, your family, your business safer today. So you won't regret it tomorrow."

The Category 1 storm blew through the Bahamas on Saturday morning and is expected to reach Florida early Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that Isaias had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and could become more powerful.

According to The Associated Press, the hurricane was centered about 50 miles south of Nassau and moving northwest at 12 mph. Forecasters noted that some decrease in its forward motion was expected.

Florida authorities said they have prepared shelters, but did not expect to have to evacuate people.

“The most important thing we want people to do now is [to] remain vigilant,” Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters on Saturday.

Gaynor said the Sunshine State would likely get more rain and see surge and tropic storm-force winds inland.

Host Neil Cavuto asked the administrator whether a hurricane on top of the coronavirus pandemic would be "problematic" for emergency responders.

Gaynor said FEMA has asked federal, state and city agencies to re-examine storm-response plans with "the overlay of -19 challenges."

"Local cities and states will need more time if you have to give an evacuation order. You’ll need more transportation assets. You’ll need more square footage if you decide to put people into congregate settings. You may need to put people [who] are at-risk into non-congregates," he said. "So things like hotels and dormitories."

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He added: "All those actions that local [cities] and states and tribes and territories are doing today — they're looking at those plans and they're adapting those plans to this storm and any storm that comes after.".

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