Biden Doubles Funding for Natural Disasters

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine)  President Joe Biden announced on Monday that his administration “is doubling the amount of money the government spends helping communities to mitigate natural disasters.” As always, hurricanes and wildfires will undoubtedly loom large in the U.S.  In addition, climate change could enhance natural disasters.

During a visit on Monday to the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington, Biden made it clear that “we don’t have a moment to lose in preparing for 2021.” At this meeting, Biden also received a “briefing from his homeland security and climate teams on the Atlantic Hurricane Outlook and preparedness efforts for 2021.”

$1 billion – which is double the previous funding – will be given to FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. This program will provide necessary funding for “states, territories, tribes, and rural communities” who will be preparing for extreme weather situations. 

As always, this is the busiest time in the United States for hurricanes in the East and in the South as well as wildfire situations in the West. Biden claimed, “I’m here today to make it clear that I will insist on nothing less than readiness for all these challenges.”

Biden made it clear that he was willing to provide extra funding for communities that were often overlooked.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects another year with above-normal disasters.  This will follow the “unusual storm season” that was experienced in the South this past winter. Overall, the U.S. “experienced a record year for extreme weather in 2020.” All of this was on top of the “devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.” 

Biden continued, “This year, NOAA is focusing on another severe season. Perhaps, and God willing, not as bad as 2020, but still quite bad.” 

Biden praised FEMA for “being there to help clear roads and rebuild main streets so that families can get back to their lives.”

White House secretary, Jen Psaki, said at Monday’s meeting that she wasn’t sure how the money would be rerouted but that the administration was definitely “planning ahead.” She added that the government’s hope is to get ahead of the disasters and “use every lever we have in government in coordination with local and state authorities to make sure we’re as prepared as we possibly can be.”

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