Biden: FEMA doubles hurricane preparedness funding from $500M to $1B

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden announced on Monday that he is doubling the funding to help local authorities prepare for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season.

Biden visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, headquarters to announce the increase in funding from $500 million to $1 billion.

“We all know that the storms are coming, and we are going to be prepared,” Biden said.

FEMA distributes the funds through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, or BRIC, which aims to reduce risk through hazard mitigation projects.

“Last year, as you all know, we faced the most named storms on record, seven out of the 30 named storms alone, claimed 86 lives and cost more than $40 billion in damage,” Biden said.

Ali A. Zaidi, the Pakistani-American lawyer who is serving as the first deputy White House national climate advisor, said storms are getting more frequent and severe.

“It’s directly attributable to a change in climate,” Zaidi said.

Biden also announced that he is establishing a program to track climate change and its impact. NASA launched it with an initiative to develop climate data systems.

NASA plans to provide information that will help guide efforts related to climate change. NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson released a statement saying a new “observatory” will be “arming us with next-generation data critical to mitigating climate change.”

Torres contributed to this report from Miami.

About the Authors:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News. He has more than a decade of reporting experience nationwide.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.