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General who oversaw Katrina response: I won't bet money we're prepared for Hurricane Florence
The general who oversaw the U.S. military response to Hurricane Katrina predicted Tuesday that the the federal government is not prepared for Hurricane Florence.
"This is a magnificent storm. People need to listen; they need to evacuate, but I will not bet any money that we are prepared," Lt. General Russel Honoré said on MSNBC, noting that the first phase of the storm will be the most impactful.
"People need to listen to their government and evacuate because of everything east of I-95 could be destroyed."
Honoré added that he was "embarrassed" by the preparations the government has made after MSNBC host Katy Tur listed off a series of statistics.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has prepared 80,000 liters of water, 402,000 meals, 1,200 cots and 34 generators at Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina, according to USA Today.
"We measure water a gallon a day for people. We've evacuated over a million," he said. "Those numbers don't work."
Honoré, who was fiercely critical of the Trump administration's response to Hurricane Maria, added that FEMA shouldn't act as first-responders and that it should leave governors and counties alone.
He also questioned why President Trump and the government have continued to give positive assessments of their preparations considering the magnitude of the looming storm.
"I don't understand the government giving a whole lot of assurance that they're ready because we're never ready for a Category 4," Honore added. "What we've got to be ready for is the response - to be able to bring assets beyond what the states have and bring that massive military force, those ships that have left, and bring them back in to help save lives."
His statements came the same day Trump said the U.S. was "absolutely and totally prepared" for Hurricane Florence, which has been listed as a Category 4 storm as it barrels toward the Southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts.
Trump has declared a state of emergency in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina in response. In addition to his emergency declarations, each governor ordered residents in certain coastal areas to evacuate.