Furloughs to affect National Hurricane Center during hurricane season

Weather experts to take four furlough days by Sept

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The reality that the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service will have less resources this coming hurricane season is sinking in for local emergency managers.

Word of impending furloughs is spreading just as the Governor's Hurricane Conference kicks off in Fort Lauderdale.
"It's the nature of the times, everyone has to cut back. It's a bad situation but we'll do our job in case an event happens," says Don Griffin with FEMA.
Satelitte operators, law enforcement officials and forecasters will all need to take four days without pay before September 30th. That should close the 5% gap created by the sequester.

Although it makes emergency management experts uneasy, they're confident agencies will respond in a crisis.

"They may have fewer staff but just like with my staff I'd ensure my mission critical functions would be maintained," says Bill Johnson, the Director of Emergency Management for Palm Beach County.
"There may be some hiccups, but I think at the end of the day, it'll come together, I'm an optimist, what can I say," says Lotti Brown, Emergency Management Specialist with Broward County.
Don Griffin says the sequester cuts kept him from bringing a handful of FEMA personnel to the conference.
"It would've been nice to bring a bunch of folks so they could meet and greet, but it just wasn't going to happen," says Griffin.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says if a furlough day is scheduled and there is a storm headed toward the United States, that furlough day will be canceled.

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