Fw: Travel Pool Report #3 -- hurricane center tour

From: Nelson, Colleen McCain [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2015 11:31 AM
To: Barnes, Desiree N.
Subject: Travel Pool Report #3 -- hurricane center tour

The pool joined President Obama's already-in-progress tour of the National Hurricane Center. The walls of the two rooms he visited were covered with maps and screens showing forecasts and assorted models.

The pool could hear only sporadic snippets of conversations as Obama's tour guides explained the technology they use to track storms. The president, in a gray suit and lavender tie, asked a steady stream of questions. "When did you start here?" he asked one employee. "What's different today than it was back then?" Obama repeatedly asked for details about technological advances.

The president spent time taking a few photos with his tour guides before continuing the conversation. He moved to the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch, where employees explained how they track wave heights. "Hey guys, how are you doing?" Obama said as he entered the room. He shook each person's hand and asked, "What have we got?"

A staff member explained that wave heights impact everyone from recreational boaters to trans-oceanic vessels. "So everybody's plugging into this information on an ongoing basis," Obama observed.

He then asked the staff member, "When did you start here?" Obama noted again that technology has had a huge impact on how they collect information.

As pool was led out of the room, another staff member was explaining new technology that monitors storm surges. That information could have been crucial during Hurricane Sandy, Obama was told.

The president is now receiving the annual hurricane season outlook and preparedness briefing. The pool is holding.

More details about the tour are below.

On Background from a White House Official:

Today, the President will visit the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida to receive the annual hurricane outlook and preparedness briefing in advance of hurricane season, which begins on Monday. Prior to his briefing the President will tour the Center where he will thank staff who help America prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. He will also be joined by state partners from Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, who’ve worked to make sure their communities are prepared for hurricane season. During his tour the President will meet leading experts in hurricane forecasting and tropical meteorology and view the state-of–the-art tools and technologies used to develop forecasts, warning and storm surge predictions.

Following the President’s tour FEMA will release its annual National Preparedness report which can be found here:>http://www.fema.gov/national-preparedness-report<

Briefing Participants include:
·         Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce
·         Representative Ted Deutch, D-FL
·         Representative Carlos Curbelo, R-FL
·         Brian Deese, Senior Advisor to the President
·         Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency
·         Kathy Sullivan, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
·         Robert Cardillo, Director of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
·         Andrew Busch, Lt. Gen., U.S. Air Force, Director Defense Logistics Agency
·         Michael A. Calhoun, Major General, Florida National Guard
·         Amy Pope, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor and Deputy Assistant to the President
·         Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer
·         Elizabeth Zimmerman, Associate Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency
·         Michael Lowder, Director, Office of Intelligence, Security, and Emergency Response, U.S. Department of Transportation
·         Rick Knabb, Director, National Hurricane Center
·         Michael Sprayberry, Director of North Carolina Division of Emergency Management
·         Bryan Koon, Director for the Florida Division of Emergency Management
·         Steve Cover, Eastern Division Sponsoring Agency Chief Representative for the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Urban Search and Rescue Program

Additional Participants
·         Kristie Canegallo, White House Deputy Chief of Staff
·         Catherine Barrett, U.S. Department of Commerce
·         Jeremy Greenberg, U.S. Department of Transportation
·         Michael George, Federal Emergency Management Agency
·         Christina Crowe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
·         Nathaniel Wolpert, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
·         Rafaela Monchek, Director for Recovery, National Security Council staff
·         Chief Dave Downey, Miami-Dade County Urban Search and Rescue
·         Chief Maurice Kemp, City of Miami Urban Search and Rescue

###

Colleen McCain Nelson
The Wall Street Journal

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