On May 8, President Obama met with stakeholders from the utilities industry to discuss ways to improve the federal response to natural disasters. The 36 executives and representatives advocated for better mobilization of utility workers as well as for the National Guard to play a role in clearing roads and removing trees. The President praised those in attendance for their work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Also in attendance were Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett and Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal.