A downed power line, knocked over by a falling tree, is seen in the wake of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30 in Washignton. FEMA says it has enough money to cover costs related to the superstorm. (Mandel Ngan / AFP)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency had $3.6 billion in disaster relief funds on hand before Hurricane Sandy struck, which the agency said should be enough to respond to the storm.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate told reporters Monday that his agency had almost $1 billion left when fiscal 2012 ended Sept. 30, which carried over into fiscal 2013. The continuing resolution now in effect provided more money based on fiscal 2012 funding levels.
“We see no limiting factors for response activities, nor do we see any limiting factors for the existing disasters we’re responding to,” Fugate said. “We have the funds to respond … and we’ll assess the impact to determine any additional funding needs based upon the impacts for Hurricane Sandy.”
FEMA is coordinating the federal government’s response to states affected by Sandy. President Obama has declared emergencies in 11 states — ranging from New Hampshire to Virginia and West Virginia — and Washington, D.C.
FEMA said Monday that it had more than 1,500 staff positioned along the East Coast to support disaster preparedness and response operations, including search and rescue. FEMA said before the storm hit, it had moved about 200,000 liters of water, 100,000 meals and thousands of blankets and cots to Westover Air Reserve Base in Massachusetts, and more than 400,000 liters of water, more than 390,000 meals, and thousands of cots to Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey.
FEMA said it has a total inventory of more than 5 million liters of water, 3 million meals, 900,000 blankets and 100,000 cots at its distribution centers throughout the nation.