FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew makes landfall Friday morning and ABC News' Arlette Saenz chats with FEMA administrator about preparations and actions being taken to support the towns being affected by Hurricane Matthew.
9:41 | 10/07/16

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Transcript for FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on Hurricane Matthew
I mean you are like science and we are here at the white house with FEMA administrator cranky gates talked with him hurt Matthew you've just met with President Obama in the Oval Office when things he talked about with a lot of concern about storms cards. Witty scene right now in terms search across the past. This has been the primary concern the whole time I think Jimmy people are looking at what they actually itself or its morning the storm is that bad that aerial not going to receive them all this storm. All were seen hurricane force while the storm surge is greatest danger right now particularly in north for a Georgia. South Carolina and are working pointers and choose North Carolina. And often look at hurricanes standing in seeing that this morning what happens we'll if you remember what her case and it was making that transition to oppose tropical storm peoples of what won't be that that is not a hurricane anymore. Law and they don't understand a lot of times the size of the storm not necessarily how strong winds or. Really dictate storm surge this is a relatively all our storm. Right now because in the way it's moving it's it's gonna push water up into these base and analysts Saint John river Jacksonville. And these are areas are very low lying very susceptible flooding in any of these areas of not at this local places like the late eighteen hundreds. Or in case of lost South Carolina since Hurricane Hugo in the eighties. Ice preparing in terms of recovery efforts power after this story. Well pretty much support the states and again the governors and their team ever thing for the National Guard or local responders they're going to be the first ones out. All were there this world offer additional things like commodities water ski park route generator communication equipment. But were Oscar start looking at what kind of recovery assistance will be needed. But our first job mr. notebooks and life safety and then he responds after hours. What Mattson Hugh wanna get it who are on the or. Or even the folks and Fortis is getting to be too late in many cases it is on the work or stormy Tuesday state program. People at Georgia South Carolina now up in the North Carolina he does local evacuation or taking South Carolina North Carolina. All the light distillate o'clock track shifted a little bit further club team he'll I think a lot of people that hope that this was gonna turn. Well you've been an award Terry had evacuation orders on your running time he'd them. Or floors going to. The brunt of storms afternoon and tonight and tomorrow. Fruit or so Georgia's southeast Georgia bouncing Don jacks will be hit them particularly person may have broke the war. We'll see those impacts later tonight in its moral and Caroline's. I have numbers yet on how many people have been evacuated and and the number two people who maybe didn't heed the warning signal error count how many people did but they used yes but apparently people live evacuations also like Florida dollars about one point five me. We know most people don't back are not let me correct that we know some people actually most that he does back. So that really helped homers boss likes it significantly reduces the risk of having gotten life safety operations that means we could focus more recovered. Archer tackling getting communities back to you know the President Obama spoke with the governor's. South Carolina North Carolina Georgia and Florida yesterday. How often are you in contact with them in their office. We're in their offices we literally have had team for the last couple days in their state of mercy operation centers. On well in advance of even their request for assistance the president issued the numbers declarations us what we've warm bodies to the state director. Wald who aren't as when he got big disasters big storm threats like this you don't wait goes bad you don't wait for people that tell you become one team. A lot where their support but we didn't want to show up too late we didn't want to show up about things that are going to be it is that well before the State's past we were moving stuff all over the country get ready for this. And having here preparations for recovery effort right now compared to previous storms that you've experienced during her time at FEMA will again it is it's how we've been. Geared up operate in this part of the direction the president's always give us as much better to either too much too early to be there too late without enough stuff. So we cannot wait we know how best form is that we look at potential impacts. We were geared up form again always itself or all the way Carol if you remember last week we are still looking at possibly coming up to the middle Atlantic states. So as we've seen the storm track change we've adjusted arms boss we're pretty much now focused everything's going to be involved impact. On the war. Southeastern coastal state of war right now get in front of the store. So what's your message to the people who are watching the news coverage on TV and they think I mean this isn't as bad and lack. American carrier bail because that will wasn't that bad and Vermont got creamed walled had been agreed or Sarkozy also forecast from. The Nationalists are potential rainfall north Carroll along much for a gorilla heart over because track. All were seeing Al store search gonna increase in South Carolina so. What we've eldest people who want to talk look at the is reporting it's not that fassel won't be too bad form. That's a bad thing to take you gotta understand this war. Did not come close to self wars that was an animal impacts there is much closer to the coast. And damaging impacts are much greater now as ministers coastal areas of north or Georgia South Carolina it in the North Carolina. And for people who have questions about where they can obtain resources or where you point. We formed back interstates where they can get information about those responses that local officials. We tell people the best information in this Akron information. About what's going on what you need to coming from local officials at your local weather service offices. All are role states. Supporting states is really kind of looking backward view that the information people need to make Leipzig decisions is coming from the local officials. And you'll be tracking and that storm her out the weekend and then we practiced storm still has dissipated or no longer a threat United States. Want people looking at this lupica what if it's again. Well we've already looked at that we are prepared for that but what really focused on right now is acts of math geniuses approaching. Along now Georgia's south on North Carolina. I think it people talk about war so much. That people may be not. Really paid much attention and we really need people governor Haley also thought that governor Jordan on talk about this nothing because nationally four. People are forgetting their next thing how people view deployed down to those states right now our numbers were well over couple hundred of those numbers are growing. Well a lot of this is to support the initial response we have literally thousands of people that have been ordered up ready to deploy if we are needed for recovery assistance. Now what we're not doing as putting it down in these areas because we don't like people cartels for the people evacuated. But we're putting in places like Atlanta color surrounding areas that the will be nearby ready ago once we know where farmers for. So we literally are up for hundreds right now they're to a thousand. Well if we takes its financial damages were perennial lottery coverage a logo that thousands of these people part of it notified. Really just where we're going to be needed. Getting it there without getting in the way of in his response. Or compete for so pretty back to please. And for the people who maybe aren't in the direct line at the storm that White House yet what do you suggest they made him give generously to volunteer organizations active disasters you go to national and other groups right. Cross of missionaries Geoff Witcher sun bathers are now the acronym suddenly these people out. But the best gift the best way you can help the people recover is to be jitters in cash donations. An agonizing personal to you knew me when it gives stuff but the problem is to increase our second challenge. Of all the good donated items and the challenge that local officials haven't managing that resource. All isn't much better and much more horrible to help people with cash so again I just tell people the lesson we've arm. Since hurricane Andrew 1004. Has been. Donated items are always the best way to health. All of financial systems do these organizations provide the initial services are. And President Obama is heading to Chicago this weekend fees plans to continue to be updated throughout that time. What how often are you going to be talking to well we'll update his team keeps him briefed and on he'll call me when he wants had this happen to me it was time for all be in the middle something in this fall Combs they can take a call from the president elect. Yeah course and technical the president. All but when he needs that information easy cult director no filters. Well that's when the great things about where the president. When I went with his focus on these things. Well he's not waiting for somebody staff Tom Leppert if this colonies hate what was going well what we do real pop stuff. It is big thing to me is always stay on top stuff don't get behind are we anticipating outwardly do we have enough stuff and doing anything from. Sobel briefing there was doubt but here I'll guarantee you the president has a question he has called me before. Anytime. You. So bottom line your message to the people who are watching the storm cut taxes just pay attention to the attention if you're an evacuation zone. Our program it is already too late for some people Florida. So the local officials say to state your whole ball coast to date the outside the arc in that area particularly Carolinas. On. Those back what you're for several days that some people that are maybe it will turn it will be so bad. You need. Thank you so much master key day for joining us. I thank you for watching on ABC news dot con and are faced but pages stay tuned her out the day. For other updates on hurricane Matthew and will bring you on news thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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