Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Sunday his agency is now turning its attentions to the southeastern United States as Hurricane Irma bears down on the area, while still assisting recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey.
Irma, a Category 2 storm, is barreling through the central Atlantic Ocean and could sweep through Puerto Rico and possibly hit Florida and other southeastern states by next weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Long, whose agency has been in Texas preparing for, and then reacting to, Hurricane Harvey, said Sunday on "Face The Nation" on CBS the focus is starting to change.
"Right now we're ramping up, already deployed commodities into island territories where we've fully deployed incident management teams to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands," he said. "We're shifting focus to Irma as well as maintaining the effort to make sure that we have recovery command established in Texas and Louisiana."
The storm is mostly over in Texas — while some areas of the state are still seeing water rescues from flooded areas, much of the affected area is in recovery mode.
The federal government is poised to act, with Congress expected to take up a $7.9 billion aid package next week that will serve as a "down payment" on recovery efforts.
Long said that won't be enough, and states need to start thinking of ways that they can protect themselves with stronger emergency management plans.
"This is a call, it is a wake-up call for this country for local and state elected officials to give their governors and their emergency management directors the full budgets that they need to be fully staffed to rainy day fund have your own stand alone programs," he said.
"That is a wake up call, people cannot depend solely on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be responsible for a majority of the work. States do a lot of work, they do a lot of work, but we all have to collectively sit down after this event and figure out how to collectively improve."