FEMA asks neighbors to help one another as storm blasts Northeast

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is asking those affected by Snowstorm Nemo to check on their neighbors and follow the direction of local officials as the Northeast corridor begins to dig out from under the massive blizzard.

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"Everyone has a role to play in the response to this winter storm," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in a statement released Saturday morning. "Follow the direction of your state, local and tribal officials, and if you are told to stay off the roads, stay home, and when it is safe, check on your neighbors or friends nearby who may need assistance or extra support."

At least four people are reported dead and more than half a million residents are without power, as the winter storm deposited more than two feet of snow in parts of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

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Fugate warned that more trouble could be ahead — especially for older residents in areas badly affected by the storm.


"Older adults and individuals who are dependent on life-sustaining medical equipment or assistive devices such as a ventilator or mobility devices may need additional support in areas that have lost power," Fugate said.

FEMA also cautioned those in the path of the storm to stay indoors, avoid overexertion from shoveling snow, keep dry, and only run generators outdoors and away from windows and vents. The federal agency said it was deploying a National Incident Management Assistance Team to the area to provide support to local and federal officials already on the ground.

The National Weather Service is warning that blizzard conditions and major costal flooding could continue to ravage the Northeast throughout the day. 

On Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said President Obama would be receiving regular updates on the progress of the storm and recovery efforts.