ABC’s Sunlen Miller reports:
Call it what you will on twitter, but FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says whether you prefer #snomg, #winterstorm or #blizzard – there’s really only one word to describe the storm headed east: huge.
“Whatever-you-want-to-call-it snow event, this is a storm that is huge,” Fugate said in an on camera interview with ABC News today from the White House.
Using his hands to emphasize the size and span of the storm moving Eastward Fugate demonstrated, “Start in Texas and then take your hand and wave it across the US map all the way up to Maine. And then take your hand and go down to Louisiana and Mississippi where the thunderstorms are at. And that’s how big this storm is.”
Fugate says because this storm is unlike any other seen in the last 20 years – as it stretches across so many states and is producing everything from severe weather to blizzard conditions – that FEMA is getting ready ahead of time.
“It is rare you see something this big over so many states with these conditions simultaneously,” he said, adding that the storm has grown bigger even since last night, “It’s still moving towards the North East and there are many areas of the country who have heard about the storm and saying ‘it’s not that bad!’ and we’re saying, ‘it’s not that bad yet.’ This storm is still moving.”
For those in the path of the storm, Fugate said that you cannot wait to find out how bad it is, you must prepare as much as you can beforehand. He warned that in storms this large, emergency responders may not be able to rescue some people due to the conditions.
“If you break down people may not be able to reach you. Second thing is the emergency responders are busy enough. …so unless you absolutely have to get somewhere, stay where you’re at, stay off the roads and in a blizzard condition, threes really not too many good reasons to be on the roads.”
As noted earlier today Mr. Fugate along with DHS Secretary Napolitano held a conference call with President Obama today.
“The biggest thing the president always impresses on us is to anticipate, stay ahead and make sure we’re communicating and really look at some of the issues that may be occurring over the next couple of days.”
And back to those twitter hashtags, Fugate said that he does actually have a preference to refer to this storm, something short and sweet: #snomg.