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FEMA: We are ready with millions of supplies

  • Story Highlights
  • FEMA says it has learned lessons from 2005's Hurricane Katrina
  • Homeland Security chief: This is not a "game of chicken; get out"
  • Agency sending 5 million meals, 5 million liters of water to Texas
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By Carol Cratty and Kelli Arena
CNN
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- FEMA is prepared to send 5 million liters of water, 5 million meals, 270,000 cots and rescue teams to Texas for Hurricane Ike.

A huge obstacle will be the inevitable lack of power, and officials said they have more than 200 generators ready.

FEMA Administrator David Paulison said large generators are being moved to areas near hospitals and water plants, so the generators can be quickly activated after the storm passes.

At least 140 electric power substations, 48 non-nuclear generating units and 10 industrial plants including oil refineries and chemical plants with 41 generators could be affected by a storm surge, FEMA said.

The agency is bringing in more than 300 ambulances. Planes were also being used to evacuate residents. iReport.com: Watch Coast Guard rescue motorist

For those who may be injured during the storm, 1,000 extra hospital beds have been prepared in Texas. At least 47 nursing homes are in Ike's path, FEMA said Friday.

There are 572,000 people within the storm surge area. Six drinking water plants and 34 wastewater treatment facilities could be affected by storm surge.

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Fifty-four police and 89 fire stations, as well as 32 ambulance services, will be affected by Ike, the agency said.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Friday urged residents to leave in advance of the latest storm.

But Paulison said FEMA does not know many Texas and Louisiana residents are planning to leave.

About 3.5 million people are in areas most likely to be hit hard, he said.

"This is not a game of chicken with Mother Nature," Chertoff told reporters Thursday in Washington. "Mother Nature will win that game. This is the time to heed the instructions of your local officials and do what they tell you to do." Video Watch people Jet Ski and seem to ignore warnings to leave »

More than 40 emergency response teams were organized and are situated in 14 areas of Texas.

The Coast Guard closed ports, and the Coast Guard Cutter Northland will be the offshore command-and-control location after the storm. Another 21 cutters will also come in behind the storm if needed, officials said.

In the run-up to Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Gustav, Chertoff made it clear officials had learned many lessons in the three years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

He pointed to a successful evacuation in Louisiana before Gustav as evidence of major progress.

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"I think the key to the successful evacuation in Louisiana was the preparation and planning which had gone on for the prior couple of years, which involved a very detailed analysis of what the requirements were and how to meet those," Chertoff said.

He said Texas also has had some evacuation experience since Katrina that most likely proved helpful.

All About FEMAMichael ChertoffHurricane Katrina

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