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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 5, 2005

Fact Sheet: America Responds to the Katrina Disaster

President Bush Today Discussed Ongoing Relief Efforts For Areas Devastated By Hurricane Katrina

Today, President Bush Ordered The Department Of Defense To Deploy Additional Active Duty Forces To The Region. Over the next 24 to 72 hours, more than 7,000 additional active duty troops will arrive in the affected areas. Right now there are more than 21,000 National Guard troops operating in affected areas, with more on the way. In addition to these National Guard forces, the Department of Defense has already deployed more than 4,000 active duty forces to assist in search and recovery, and provide logistical and medical support. The priority is to restore and maintain law and order, and assist in recovery and evacuation efforts. The enormity of the task requires more resources and more troops.

  • The President Has Said That More Needs To Be Done To Assist The Victims. The magnitude of destruction has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities and many citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. That is unacceptable. Where our response is not working, we will make it right. Where our response is working, we will duplicate it.

  • Hurricane Katrina Has Been One Of The Worst Natural Disasters In American History. The power of the hurricane created an area of destruction that is 90,000 square miles, an area larger than the size of Great Britain. Residents of the Gulf Coast states affected by the hurricane have lost loved ones, lost homes, and been displaced from their communities, and the President has declared that they will have the full support of the Federal government.

The President Traveled To The Hurricane Devastated Gulf Coast States. President Bush visited areas of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana affected by the enormous devastation of Hurricane Katrina. A vast coastline of towns and communities has been flattened; one of our great cities is submerged. The human costs are incalculable. The President surveyed the destruction and spoke with victims of Katrina to express the nation's condolences for their loss. The President also thanked those working to aid in the recovery effort.

  • The President Expressed His Determination That Victims Are Delivered The Relief That They Need. Aid is surging toward those who have been affected by the hurricane. Millions of gallons of water and millions of tons of food have begun to arrive. Those at the Superdome and Convention Center are being evacuated. Charities like the Salvation Army and Red Cross and many other relief organizations are on the ground delivering valuable aid. Thousands of men and women, volunteers, firefighters, police, and National Guardsmen are working to provide relief supplies and restore order in a massive recovery effort. As neighboring states have opened their arms to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the President declared states of emergency in Texas and Arkansas to help deliver federal assistance to those in need. For the latest details on the Federal response effort, please visit www.dhs.gov.

  • President Bush Signed A $10.5 Billion Emergency Supplemental To Support Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Efforts. Congress unanimously passed an emergency bill providing additional funds for the immediate needs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense in support of the Federal government's relief and recovery missions. This is the beginning of a sustained federal commitment to the Gulf Coast.

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) Has Agreed To Release 60 Million Barrels Of Oil And Gasoline. This weekend, IEA member countries will begin releasing an average of 2 million barrels of oil and gasoline per day to the markets. The United States as a part of that effort will be releasing 30 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help ensure the continuity of energy supplies for drivers, businesses, and the American economy.

  • The President Has Called On All Americans To Help Those In Need As A Result Of Katrina. Rebuilding the Gulf Coast will take time - and the resources of the American people and the Federal government will ensure that New Orleans will once again be a great city. American companies and individuals have already combined to donate nearly $200 million for relief and recovery. The President also announced a nationwide charitable effort led by former President Bush and former President Clinton to aid the Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina through the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund. Americans who wish to contribute can do so by contacting charities that are assisting with hurricane relief. For a listing of relief organizations, visit www.usafreedomcorps.gov.

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