The Department of Homeland Security is "absolutely" ready for Hurricane Dorian, which is on track to affect the states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina this week, acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Monday.
"Federal response is in support of the states, and these states have capable emergency management teams preparing for some time," McAleenan told Fox News. "We'll adjust as the storm moves, as the track changes direction. But the last 36 hours the forecast has been pretty on point."
He pointed out that the storm has been at a virtual standstill, moving at just one mile-per-hour over the Bahamas before it takes aim at the United States' East Coast.
"We're waiting to see how much of a northward turn it takes, as anticipated by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center," said McAleenan.
He said the department is concerned, as always, over whether citizens will follow state and local emergency officials' instructions.
"Almost 5 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders," he said. "We want people to heed the orders and get out early. The safest way to do it to be ahead of the storm. But we have a ton of capacity in place. Just to give you a sense, there are 17,000 electricity and power professionals ready for this storm to hit in Florida, from 36 different states under mutual aid agreements. (There are) 5,000 National Guard troops activated in the four affected states. We have a ton of capability ready to respond."
Meanwhile, the department does not want anyone to be complacent, even with the storm currently forecast to travel up the coast of Florida rather than making landfall.
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