President Joe Biden announced Monday at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters that he would be doubling the funding for hurricane preparedness.
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.
The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration predicts an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.
“We’re going to spare no expense, no effort to keep Americans safe and respond to crises when they arise, and they certainly will,” President Biden said. “Now is the time to get ready for the busiest time of the year for disasters in America — hurricane season in the South and East, and the fire season out West.”
The increased funding comes after a surge in major hurricanes during 2020, with a record-breaking 30 named storms and a dozen hurricanes or tropical storms that made landfall in the U.S. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is projecting another heavier than average storm season for 2021, with 13-20 named storms likely, 6-10 becoming hurricanes, and 3-5 reaching major hurricane status.
“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.
The President also announced a new climate data system created by NASA to help tackle climate change.
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.”
The newly announced funds will be distributed through FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. Created in 2018, BRIC awards grants to states, local communities and tribes to undertake pre-disaster hazard mitigation projects.