Published: May 23, 2011 10:53 AM EDT
Updated: May 23, 2011 10:54 AM EDT

  DUBLIN  -  Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the families of all those who  lost their lives in the tornadoes and severe weather that struck Joplin,  Missouri as well as communities across the Midwest today.    We commend the heroic efforts by those who have responded and who are working to help their  friends and neighbors at this very difficult time.   At my direction, FEMA is  working with the affected areas' state and local officials to support response and recovery efforts, and the federal government stands ready to help our  fellow Americans as needed.