This past week, the Midwest was hit by a terrible ice storm that took the lives of several dozen of our fellow citizens, damaged homes and property, and left many across the region without power. More bad weather is expected to continue over the next several days.
I've been in touch with the Governors of Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas and moved quickly to provide federal support. FEMA continues to be actively engaged in the region, providing generators, meals, cots, blankets, and bottled water to residents. It is also helping with debris removal, conducting damage assessments, and assisting with disaster claims. We’re also in touch with the relevant power companies to see how quickly permanent power can be restored.
We are working as quickly as we can to help the victims of this storm and return a sense of normalcy to their lives and the region.
Next week I'll be visiting Kentucky and Missouri to meet with state and local officials and identify what else the federal government can do to support their citizens as they plan for recovery.
Beyond dealing with these recovery efforts, I'll also be traveling to Kansas and Iowa to work on our preparations for the upcoming flood and tornado season, which is just around the corner.
The time to prepare is now. Indeed, last year FEMA faced 90 federally-declared disasters and provided assistance to 36 states. That included the back-to-back hurricanes of Gustav and Ike, deadly tornadoes, Midwest floods, and wildfires.
Thanks to the good work of our DHS employees and everything we're doing now, we'll be ready to respond quickly and support the men, women and families in communities across the country.