Gearing up for the heart of hurricane season, President Donald Trump said that states can count on his administration to dispense US emergency funds efficiently. “We do it quickly. We do it effectively,” Trump said at the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday, where he and members of his Cabinet received a briefing on the summer’s hurricane season, which began June 1. “We are very strong with respect to FEMA. FEMA is something I’ve been very much involved in already.”
Trump cited the administration’s response to a bridge collapse near downtown Atlanta that forced the closure of a portion of Interstate 85. The president spoke a few hours before embarking on his own summer vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
During his stop at FEMA headquarters, Trump got a tour of the command center, the hub where the agency coordinates its response during emergencies. Video maps line the walls to help officials monitor storms, weather conditions and more.
Federal officials predicted in May that the US could face 11 to 17 named storms, including five to nine hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast predicted two to four “major” hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 mph.
Forecasters expect warmer-than-average waters across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea this summer. Tropical Storm Emily drenched parts of Florida earlier this week with rain, but no hurricanes have formed so far.
Trump was at FEMA headquarters accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
Also attending was White House chief of staff John Kelly, formerly Trump’s secretary of homeland security.