FEMA Director: Unless It’s Urgent, We Ask People To Stay Home And Off The Roads

As Hurricane Irene started to hit New York early this morning, FEMA director Craig Fugate appeared on many of the Sunday news programs to advise people how they can best keep safe from now until the storm subsides.

On ABC’s This Week, Fugate told substitute host Jake Tapper that damage in New York and elsewhere is unavoidable, but injury or loss of life can be prevented by taking appropriate safety measures. He strongly advised against going outside, even after the hurricane has moved on.

After the storm’s moved through, a lot of people want to get out, drive around, and see what’s going on. Unless it’s really urgent, we ask people to stay home, stay off the roads. Let the power companies and the emergency workers do their job. It’ll help us get power back on a lot faster if they’re not having to fight traffic with people sightseeing.

Tapper read a tweet Fugate sent out previously warning people not to underestimate the scope of the storm just because it is a Category 1 storm. Fugate explained that the speed of the storm was more troublesome than its size, and expressed optimism about the response from the federal government and local governments, saying that “we shouldn’t have to wait until a state is overwhelmed to begin getting ready.”

Watch the interview below, courtesy of ABC:

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac