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FEMA Taking Stronger Steps to Deal with Climate Change

Calling it “the crisis of this generation,” FEMA created a single unified agency to ensure all department decisions and actions address the threat of a changing climate.

WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) says it will boost efforts to confront a changing climate. It announced two key initiatives with that in mind, a Climate Adaptation Enterprise Steering Group and its stakeholder engagement process established to help develop the agency’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.

“Climate change is the crisis of this generation. Combating it, requires mitigating future risks and reducing impacts,” says FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “In partnership with federal science agencies, we are analyzing how climate change will increase the frequency and severity across all hazards.”

FEMA says the Climate Adaption Enterprise Steering Group will be a unified agency addressing the impacts of climate change across all its programs and operations. It’s co-chaired by leadership from FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery, Office of Resilience and FEMA Regions.

FEMA says it will also step up internal processes to “increase climate literacy among emergency managers, build climate resilient communities and empower risk-informed decision making, all with a whole-of-community approach.”

Additional resilience measures FEMA says it adopted

FEMA says it continues to develop initiatives to respond climate crisis through its existing authorities and responsibilities:

  • FEMA’s National Risk Index, which uses sea-level-rise data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide an easy-to-use tool for identifying locations most at risk for 18 natural hazards.
  • Funding opportunities to prepare communities for extreme weather events through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs. The grants include $1 billion for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, as well as $160 million for the Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program.
  • Expanding funding to advance mitigation. More than $5 billion in is available to states and communities.
  • Implementing the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard for all federal investments. FEMA issued an interim policy for requirements involving structures, partially implementing the standard.
  • Funding mitigation through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. The program helps homeowners rebuild disaster-damaged homes to make them better able to face the next disaster.

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