May 26, 2021

Biden Doubles FEMA Spending to $1 Billion for Extreme Weather Disaster Preparedness

President Joe Biden announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would double funding to help the U.S. prepare for extreme weather disasters

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President Joe Biden announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would double the funding to help the U.S. prepare for extreme weather disasters, to $1 billion this year from $500 million. 

According to a White House fact sheet, the funds will be distributed through FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program.

“Now is the time to get ready for the busiest time of the year for disasters in America,” Biden said during a briefing, reported CNBC.Hurricane season in the South and East, and the fire season out West.”

According to the fact sheet, the U.S. experienced 22 separate weather and climate-related disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each in 2020. This includes winter storms that crossed Texas and the south, as well as wildfires in the west exacerbating drought conditions.

Biden also issued an Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk to help Americans better understand the impacts of climate change on financial security. 

According to CNBC, Biden also announced the launch of a new NASA initiative that will track how the climate is changing and the impact of these changes in the near term and farther into the future.

Other actions taken by Biden regarding climate change include: 

  • Initiating the development of Agency Climate Action Plans as required by Executive Order 14008;
  • Reinstating the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard to improve the resilience of American communities and federal assets against the impacts of flood damage;
  • Investing in resilience through the American Jobs Plan and the FY22 budget;
  • Providing nearly $1.7 billion for high-priority hazardous fuels and forest resilience projects, supporting vegetation management at the Forest Service and DOI to protect watersheds, wildlife habitat, and the wildland-urban interface;
  • Establishing an Interagency Working Group for better drought preparedness as communities become more impacted by water shortages; 
  • Establishing the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and more.

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