Obama: Emergency readiness evident after Irene

On sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina disaster, the president emphasized the need for vigilance

By Associated Press

Published August 29, 2011 7:12PM (EDT)

A flooded road is seen in Hatteras Island, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011after Hurricane Irene swept through the area Saturday cutting the roadway in five locations. Irene caused more than 4.5 million homes and businesses along the East Coast to reportedly lose power over the weekend, and at least 11 deaths were blamed on the storm.(AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds) (AP)
A flooded road is seen in Hatteras Island, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011after Hurricane Irene swept through the area Saturday cutting the roadway in five locations. Irene caused more than 4.5 million homes and businesses along the East Coast to reportedly lose power over the weekend, and at least 11 deaths were blamed on the storm.(AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds) (AP)

President Barack Obama says the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina illustrates the need for the federal government to respond as best it possibly can to natural disasters.

He says his administration's improved emergency readiness was evident over the weekend in reaction to Hurricane Irene.

Katrina struck six years ago Monday and became a symbol for government failure. Obama, in a statement, says his administration has improved emergency response to be "more resilient after disaster strikes."

He said Americans should continue efforts to make sure that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast recover.

Obama maintained a high profile in advance of Hurricane Irene, warning residents along the Eastern Seaboard to be vigilant.

He said emergency responders will address the needs of communities hit by Irene "as quickly and effectively" as possible.


Associated Press

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