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FEMA Ready To Help

Within hours after the terrorist attack, President Bush ordered the release of federal funds to support emergency response efforts and aid victims of the attack on the World Trade Center. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is responsible for coordinating this effort. Joe Allbaugh, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), visited The Early Show to talk about the resources being deployed.

FEMA resources range from the use of federal personnel to medical supplies. Assistance also includes funds for individuals for medical and other needs and crisis counseling.

"Yesterday, I activated after the president's declaration 12 urban search and rescue teams out of our 28 nationally. Aid will come to New York City," said Allbaugh.

"My biggest concern are those folks who have been working now almost 24 hours at this situation. They're getting tired and we need to make sure we roll in fresh troops because there are folks, I believe, that we can still find alive."

Allbaugh has been in contact with New York Governor George Pataki, Governor Gilmore and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to assist their needs.

"This morning when I spoke with Governor Pataki, he was concerned with power. They need power in lower Manhattan to make sure the search and rescue operations can continue. We're trying to make sure they have the necessary portable generators," he said.

As for the needs in Northern Virginia, he said those are somewhat different but "We're attacking this problem in both communities the same way." Anyone in need of FEMA assistance should call 800-462-9029. "That will start the flow of federal dollars for individual and family assistance," Allbaugh added.

FEMA, an executive branch independent agency, was founded in 1979.

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