President Trump is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and federal resources are positioned to help, the White House said Friday, but urged people in the path of the powerful storm to heed local officials and take all possible precautions.
Mr. Trump issued the warning in his weekly address.
“I ask everyone in the storm’s path to be vigilant, and to heed all recommendations from government officials and law enforcement,” he said. “Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our people.”
White House homeland security advisor Tom Bossert said federal agencies were “fully engaged” to support Florida and other states as the storm moves up the coast. But he stressed that danger was real and encourage people to get ready.
“It’s not a tough-love message, it is a message of clarity and honesty, at some point folks will be on their own,” Mr. Bossert said at the daily White House press briefing. “I want people to understand that they have a part to play here too.”
People in states such as Florida who have lived through major storms in the past sometimes suffer “hurricane amnesia,” he said, and they forget the hardships, including long power outages, loss of communications, drinking water and public sewage systems.
President Trump was headed later to Camp David, taking the full Cabinet with him for a working weekend that included monitoring the storm and directing the federal response.
Mr. Bossert also thanked Congress for passing emergency funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency that will ensure ongoing disaster relief from Hurricane Harvey, as well as to the impending damage from Irma.
“Congress came and stepped up in a bipartisan way and President Trump deserves a lot of credit for making that happen,” said Mr. Bossert.