How Will Shutdown Impact Karen Response?

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By: James Buechele
October 3, 2013

Communication between state and federal government officials remains key during hurricane season. But a government shutdown may make things harder if a storm like Karen hits.

"We may not know that there is going to be an impact until there actually is one," said Bryan Coon, director of Florida's division of emergency management. "When we try to get a hold of somebody or try to do something and there's just nobody on the other end of the line."

Coon says his agency has been in contact with all federal agencies including FEMA and Homeland Security. If Karen hits Florida, there could be some issues.

"Depending on the impacts of this storm, as we move into recovery phase, there could be some impacts. It just wouldn't have the administrative support in their office as necessary to accomplish their mission."

Here at the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, tracking the storm remains the number one issue despite a government shutdown.

"Our primary concern is protecting life and property," said meteorologist Kelly Godsey. "That's why you see in this office, right now, everyone is working watching the storm closely."

With an all-hands-on-deck approach, the information the NWS puts out will be what many have come to expect when it comes to tracking a tropical storm or hurricane.

"We want people to keep an eye on the weather because this storm could be nearing the coast late Saturday and into Sunday. So now's the time to make preparations."

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