The Federal Emergency Management Agency has begun to recall workers currently furloughed because of the government shutdown to help prepare for Tropical Storm Karen, the White House announced today.
"Based on applicable legal requirements and consistent with its contingency plan, FEMA has begun to recall currently furloughed employees necessary to serve functions of the agency to protect life and property as they prepare for potential landfall for Tropical Storm Karen," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced at his daily briefing.
It's unclear how many FEMA employees are being called into work. Most FEMA employees - 11,468 of the 14,729 at the agency - were declared "excepted" and were supposed to stay at work during the government shutdown, according to the DHS contingency plan.
"This morning FEMA reactivated the hurricane liaison team that is embedded with the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The president directed his team to ensure that federal resources and personnel needed to support state and local preparation efforts are available and on the job," Carney said.
President Obama was briefed earlier today on preparation efforts ahead of any impact from the storm and has directed his team to keep him appraised as weather conditions change.