President Obama addressed the nation Tuesday (Aug. 28) in light of Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to make landfall as a hurricane today or tomorrow. Coming seven years after the disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina, the president revealed that preparations for the storm have been put in place, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been in the Gulf Coast for the last week.
In the case of Katrina, many New Orleans residents stayed in their homes, initially believing that the storm wouldn't be as catastrophic. Once levies in the city broke, flooding erupted, and a lack of preparedness cost the lives of roughly 1,800 people, some of whom died while seeking shelter at the New Orleans Super Dome. This time around, the commander in chief asked the public not to take any chances. “Now is not the time to tempt fate,” he said. “You need to take this seriously.
“I'll continue to make sure the federal government is doing everything possible to help the American people prepare and recover from this dangerous storm,” he added.
To help things run smoothly, Obama approved a disaster declaration Monday (Aug. 27), ensuring that the state of Louisiana will get the federal assistance needed to carry out evacuations, if necessary.
The timing of the storm is interesting given the stain that the handling of Katrina left on the Bush administration. Obama's control of the potential natural disaster may help in defining his tenure, and power him going into the November election.
Obama will continue his campaigning efforts heading to Iowa State University this afternoon, then Colorado State University.
His opponent, Mitt Romney, is attending the Republican National Convention which was postponed because of the storm. Romney is expected to officially accept the Republican nomination for president today.
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