Obama: America Stands by Oklahoma for as Long as It Takes

The president has signed a disaster declaration and dispatched FEMA director and staff to the state.

Posted: 05/21/2013 10:43 AM EDT

President Obama offered prayers and the full support of the federal government to victims of a monster tornado that devastated the community of Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday.

"The people of Moore should know that their country will remain on the ground, there for them, beside them, as long as it takes, for their homes and schools to rebuild, businesses and hospitals to reopen, their parents to console, first responders to comfort, and of course, frightened children who will need our continued love and attention," the president said in remarks delivered from the White House State Dining Room Tuesday morning.

Obama, who has been receiving regular briefings, has signed a disaster declaration, enabling those affected by the tornado to begin receiving federal assistance, and has sent FEMA director Craig Fugate to the state. He also said that FEMA staffers have been in Oklahoma since Sunday to deal with the first wave of tornadoes tearing through the region. In addition, the agency activated search and rescue teams on Monday from Texas, Nebraska and Tennessee.

The president warned that this is just the start of the bad weather season of hurricanes and tornadoes, and the extent of human and economic loss in Oklahoma is still unknown.

"What they can be certain of is that Americans from every corner of this country will be right there with them, opening our homes, our hearts to those in need because we're a nation that stands with our fellow citizens as long as it takes," he said. "We've seen that spirit in Joplin, in Tuscaloosa; we saw that spirit in Boston and Breezy Point. And that's what the people of Oklahoma are going to need from us right now."

Obama urged Americans who want to help to do so through online donations made to the American Red Cross, which is already at work on the ground in Moore.

BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Get ready for the BET Experience, featuring Beyoncé, Snoop DoggR. Kelly, Erykah BaduKendrick Lamar and many more. Go here for more details and info on how to buy tickets. Register now to attend free film screenings, celebrity basketball games and more.

 

 (Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Videos You May Like

From Our Partners