Trump declares emergency in Louisiana amid Harvey recovery

Pres. Trump Plans To Travel To Texas On Tuesday

Here's how you can help victims of Hurricane Harvey

"I will count on my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, and goodwill to not to this to Texas because this is a storm, a hurricane, an ocean of water that no one has ever seen before".

In the meantime, President Trump says the "focus must be life and safety".

At a Monday morning news conference, Long said more than 450,000 people were expected to seek disaster assistance due to Harvey-related flooding.

"We're still in life saving, life sustaining mode", Long said.

FEMA's boosted response comes a month ahead of Congress' deadline to sort out government spending for the next fiscal year.

Presidents, Trump included, have learned that a botched response to a disaster can be a political death sentence.

By many estimates, Katrina caused upward of $150 billion in total economic damage with about of third of that coming from insured losses. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security has sent more than 300 employees as part of its surge capacity force.

Also on Monday, Texas' governor announced that he's activating the state's entire National Guard for search and rescue efforts, bringing the total deployment to roughly 12,000. You could not draw this forecast up.

But the real test for FEMA will be after Harvey's rains finally cease, and recovery efforts get underway.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. He added that some 30,000 people were likely to wind up in temporary shelters, a "very heavy lift". "But today we are deeply concerned with those in Houston and surrounding areas who are stranded and in need of immediate assistance".

"Under that budget, a program that helps states and communities take long-term measures to reduce losses from disasters, the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program, has been cut by more than 60 percent".

Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., will also join efforts to get disaster funds if Louisiana needs it, said Andrew David, a spokesman for the congressman.

It's not clear whether Congress will go along with the president's proposed cuts to long-term FEMA programs.

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