President Obama Speaks on Rebuilding the Jersey Shore, 5/28/13

But if anybody wondered whether the Shore could ever be all right again, you got your answer this weekend. (Applause.) From Sea Bright to Bay Head, from Belmar to Seaside Heights, folks were hanging out on balconies and beaches. Shows were sold out at the Stone Pony. (Applause.) Kids were eating ice cream and going on rides, going and eating some more ice cream. (Laughter.) Guys were trying to win those big stuffed animals to impress a special girl. So like I said, the Jersey Shore is back in business.

The work is not over, though. Seven months ago, I promised you that your country would have your back. I told you we would not quit until the job was done, and I meant it. I meant it. (Applause.)

Craig Fugate, the head of FEMA, he couldn’t be here today, but I want to thank him and his team for their ongoing work. FEMA was here before Sandy made landfall; they’re still here today. They’re working with the Governor’s team and with the task force I set up to support families and communities who still need help. Since the storm hit, we’ve provided billions of dollars to families and state and local governments across the region, and more is on the way.

And even as my team is helping communities recover from the last hurricane season, they’re already starting to prepare for the next hurricane season, which starts this Saturday — because if there’s one thing that we learned last year, it’s that when a storm hits, we’ve got to be ready. Education, preparation — that’s what makes a difference. That’s what saves lives. And anyone who wants to make sure they’re ready — for a hurricane or any other disaster — I want them to visit something — a website called Ready.gov. Make a plan. It’s never too early.

We’ve also got to remember that rebuilding efforts like these aren’t measured in weeks or months, but they’re measured in years. That’s why just this past Thursday, we announced billions of new relief aid for New York and New Jersey transit agencies. And that’s why the Army Corps of Engineers is working to restore beaches and strengthen the Shore’s natural defenses. That’s why last year I joined Governor Christie and your representatives, fighting to get a relief package through Congress. We’re going to keep doing what it takes to rebuild all the way and make it better than it was before, make it stronger than it was before, make it more resilient than it was before. (Applause.)

So, Jersey, you’ve still got a long road ahead, but when you look out on this beach — this beautiful beach here, even in the rain, it looks good. You look out over the horizon, you can count on the fact that you won’t be alone. Your fellow citizens will be there for you — just like we’ll be there for folks in Breezy Point and Staten Island — (applause) — and obviously, we’re going to be there for the folks in Monroe [sic], Oklahoma, after the devastation of last week. (Applause.)

Part of the reason I wanted to come back here was not just to send a message to New Jersey, but send a message to folks in Oklahoma: When we make a commitment that we’ve got your back, we mean it — (applause) — and we’re not going to finish until the work is done. Because that’s who we are. We help each other as Americans through the bad times, and we sure make the most of the good times. (Applause.)”

Full text: http://1.usa.gov/17nK4O6

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