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FEMA chief: Harvey a ‘wake-up call’ for state, local officials

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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said on Sunday that Hurricane Harvey should be “a wake-up call” for state and local officials. 

“I need state representatives, state legislative officials and local elected officials to listen up. This is a call. It is a wake-up call for this country for local and state elected officials to give their governors and their emergency management directors, you know, the full budgets that they need to be fully staffed, to design rainy day funds, to have your own standalone individual assistance and public assistance programs,” Long told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.” 

{mosads}”What we need are for elected officials at all levels of government to hit the reset button, sit down, evaluate where their programs are with their state emergency directors as well as their local emergency management directors, and make sure that they have everything they need to increase their levels of self-sufficiency,” he continued. 

The administrator also stressed that FEMA assistance is meant to kickstart recovery. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Sunday on “Fox News Sunday” that the recovery costs from Harvey would cost between $150 billion and $180 billion. 

The governor said President Trump has made an initial request to “get things up and running.”

“I think Congress understands this is a down payment on something that will cost far more.”

Abbott and Long have both indicated the recovery process in Texas will take years. 

Harvey made landfall in late August as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing rain and catastrophic flooding to southeastern Texas and southwest Louisiana. 

While flood waters have begun to recede, many affected areas remain underwater as thousands of people have been displaced. 


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