FEMA Administrator Fugate Statement On Tornadoes In Oklahoma, Arkansas, Other States

JOPLIN, Mo.–(ENEWSPF)–May 25, 2011.  Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate issued the following statement on the tornadoes that struck parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and other states last night. According to the National Weather Service, severe weather, including tornadoes is expected to continue across the central U.S. today, including in parts of Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky. Since yesterday, FEMA has deployed senior officials to the state emergency operations centers in both Oklahoma and Arkansas to coordinate directly with state and local emergency management teams, and has been working closely with the states through its regional offices in Kansas City, Missouri and Denton, Texas.

“On behalf of the entire federal family, our hearts go out to those who lost their loved ones in the storms last night and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all the families and communities that have been affected. FEMA, through our regional offices across the country, will continue monitoring these storms throughout the day. We have staff on the ground in Oklahoma and Arkansas, who are working hand in hand with our state and local partners as they assess the scope of the damages, and we are ready to support them as needed.

“We urge all Americans in regions where additional severe weather is expected today to continue to listen to the instructions of your state and local officials and monitor your local news for emergency updates. If you haven’t already, pick a safe location, such as a storm cellar or a basement, where you and your family can stay until the weather passes. It’s essential that everyone who can get themselves out of harm’s way does.

“These historic storms have highlighted the incredible resolve of the American people, especially the first responders, emergency workers, firefighters, volunteers and neighbors who have been working around the clock for days to respond to these storms and conduct search and rescue efforts. Their efforts have been extraordinary. To all of these heroes across the country, we thank you for your efforts and will do whatever we can to support you as our work continues in the days, weeks and months ahead.”

Visit FEMA’s blog for information on FEMA’s efforts to prepare for these tornadoes, and for the latest updates on the federal government’s efforts to support Missouri and other states impacted by tornadoes over the weekend.