George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following a Briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Austin, Texas

September 01, 2008

Governor, thank you; Senator, thank you for coming; Members of Congress.

The coordination on this storm is a lot better than on—than during Katrina. A lot of it had to do with the Governors. Yesterday I was on the video conference with the Governors of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. There was clearly a spirit of sharing assets, of listening to somebody's problems and saying, how can we best address them? The Federal Government is very much involved in helping the States. Our job is to assist. That's why Secretary Paulison is with me today; he heads FEMA.

I do want to thank the State of Texas and other States for welcoming citizens from Louisiana. It's been a huge evacuation. It's hard for a citizen to pull up stakes and move out of their home and face the uncertainty that comes when you're not at home. And I want to thank those citizens who listened carefully to the local authorities and evacuated. And I want to thank my fellow citizens in Texas and in other States for welcoming these folks in open arms. The State of Texas is a generous State. And, Governor, I wanted to thank you and your team for being so kind to the people.

And it's very important for those who have been evacuated to listen very carefully to the officials in their respective States before they decide to return. This storm is yet to pass. It's a serious event. And as the Governor mentioned, the people of east Texas got to be prepared for a possible flooding event.

All in all, what I look for is to determine whether or not assets are in place to help, whether or not there's coordination, and whether or not there's preparation for recovery. And to that end, I feel good about this event.

And I do want to thank Gail McGovern of the American Red Cross for joining us, and thank a lot of the other organizations that are preparing to go help people in need. These organizations, such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, require the support of our citizens.

And if you're interested in how you can help once the storm passes, please call up the different web sites of these organizations and donate your time or your money so that the recovery effort is as compassionate and complete as possible.

Governor, thanks for having me. I want to thank your team for all the hard work they're doing. I'm looking forward to going in with you in the room next door to say thanks to the people that are working the long hours. And we're going to go down to San Antonio and see a staging area there and thank the people there for working so hard, not only on behalf of the citizens of Texas, but on behalf of the people of the region.

Appreciate it. It's good to be home.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:05 a.m. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. J. Richard Perry of Texas; Sen. Kathryn A. "Kay" Bailey Hutchison; Gov. Robert R. Riley of Alabama; Gov. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal of Louisiana; Gov. Haley R. Barbour of Mississippi; and Gail J. McGovern, president and chief executive officer, American Red Cross.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Austin, Texas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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