November 2nd, 2012

Napolitano on storm: “We were very well prepositioned.”

Today on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer after touring the Staten Island area after the storm. A highlight from the interview is below.

BLITZER:  There — there was a lot of warning about this storm.  And there have been some complaints that there was not enough stuff, if you will, generators, water, food, shelter, prepositioned on Staten Island in advance. Did you have the — the proper material, the proper shelters, whatever, prepositioned, ready to go?

NAPOLITANO:  Oh, yes.  Prepositioned, you have to remember that we didn’t quite know where the storm was going to hit.  And you don’t want to preposition in an area that’s going to be hit by the storm.

Uh, so we picked an area right outside the likely storm zone and have been moving all of that material, the food and the water, into the affected area immediately, so that, for example, into the, uh, Manhattan, Staten Island, New York City area, a million meals, more than a million liters of water.  And that’s going to keep coming.  That’s going to be a steady flow, a steady state flow.

And in addition, of course, we work with our partners in the Red Cross and with the National Guard on distribution.

So we were very well prepositioned.

BLITZER:  But — but the stuff is only beginning to arrive today.  They — apparently, is that…

NAPOLITANO:  Well, no, no, no.

BLITZER:  — is that right?

NAPOLITANO:  No.  Stuff began arriving on Tuesday.  But all of the centers and the places of distribution were not established right — right away.  Those took, uh, a little time to get up and running.

But they’re up and running now and even more are coming.

So now we’re in the process of working our way through this storm.  You know, President Obama said whatever resource we can give and can — and put into this cause, we are to do so and to lead forward.  And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.