WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama said Saturday the best way to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy is to donate to the Red Cross.
Obama said the United States will be there for the millions of Americans affected by Sandy as they work toward recovery.
"This weekend, millions of our fellow Americans are still picking up the pieces from one of the worst storms in our history," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.
"I toured New Jersey on Wednesday with Governor Christie, and witnessed some of the terrible devastation firsthand. It's heartbreaking. Families have lost loved ones. Entire communities have been wiped away. Even some of the first responders who repeatedly put themselves in harm's way to bravely save the lives of others have suffered losses of their own.
"Today, I ask everyone to keep them in your prayers. And as president, I promise them this: Your country will be there for you for as long as it takes to recover and rebuild."
Obama said he has been in constant contact with governors and mayors in the affected areas and thanked first responders and National Guardsmen who have been "working around the clock" in their recovery efforts. He said he has ordered resources to areas in the storm path in the earliest hours and told federal workers not to let red tape and bureaucracy get in the way of helping those in need.
"Before the storm hit, [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] pre-staged emergency response teams from North Carolina to Maine, and deployed resources like food, water, and generators up and down the coast. As the storm passed, thousands of FEMA personnel were on the ground responding to those in need. And by midweek, the Department of Defense was ready to fly in cargo planes that could be loaded with trucks and equipment to help local power companies get up and running faster.
"But recovery will be a long, hard road for many communities. There's a lot of work ahead," the president said.
"If you've been directly impacted by this storm and need temporary assistance getting back on your feet, you can call 1-800-621-FEMA, or apply at DisasterAssistance.gov. If you know folks who are still without power, please spread the word and let them know.
"And if you don't live in an affected area and want to help, supporting the Red Cross is the best and fastest way."