FEMA administrator says money won't "get in the way of saving lives"

With Hurricane Irma barreling towards the U.S. and its territories, right on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Brock Long says his agency is prepared.

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Brock Long  

CBS News

"My confidence is high," Long told "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday. "Despite everything that's going on, this is what we test and train for. We have catastrophic plans. Obviously after Irma, yes, staffing patterns could be strained, but right now we are actually operating out of a Caribbean office."

Irma made its first landfall early Wednesday in the Caribbean, headed toward Puerto Rico and possibly Florida by the weekend. Irma is the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded outside of the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.  

Long said there are more than 700 emergency responders pre-positioned to support partners in Irma's path.

He also addressed a Bloomberg report that said FEMA was running out of money for disaster response and recovery efforts. Long said the agency has "great lines of communication" with the president, the Department of Homeland Security and Congress.

"We've all been working together to correctly inform the Congress to act, to pass the supplemental [spending bill]. So Congress knows what they need to do to be able to give us the enduring authority to push forward," Long said.

"Are you out of money right now?" CBS News' Jeff Glor asked him.

"No, we're not. And we're not going to let money get in the way of saving lives, either," Long said.

Asked what he's worried about most in regards to Florida, Long said he doesn't put a lot of confidence in five-day forecasts – "no disrespect to our partners down at the National Hurricane Center."

"A five-day forecast is very hard to depict. So I think that everybody needs to be monitoring this in the Gulf and up the East Coast and watching this very carefully to see what change has happened," Long said. "I never look at one singular forecast. I look at the past three to recognize trends and what the system is doing to make better decisions."