POSTED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 6:04pm
CNN — The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday it is recalling some furloughed workers to help prepare for Tropical Storm Karen, expected to strike the Gulf Coast this weekend.
About 86 percent of the agency's staff was furloughed Monday due to funding issues associated with the government shutdown.
An agency official said employees are being recalled "to perform functions of the agency to protect life and property."
He did not have the number of employees involved.
In a statement, the agency urged Gulf Coast residents to take prudent precautions.
"Gulf Coast residents in potentially impacted areas should take steps now to be prepared and follow the direction of local officials," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "FEMA will continue to support our state and local partners as they prepare for any potential impacts."
FEMA said it has re-activated the Hurricane Liaison Team that is embedded with the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The agency said it has millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets at distribution centers throughout the United States, including the Gulf Coast region.