Climate change has both acute and chronic impacts — communities must be resilient against threats as varied as extreme flooding, drought, hurricanes, and wildfires. FEMA is committed to leveraging grant programs to target investments that will enable communities to directly address their own threats from climate change.
Many communities are faced with aging infrastructure, which can increase risk from major disasters. As the frequency of these disasters accelerates, the agency must increase climate adaptation investments across the nation.
FEMA has already taken steps for this through Hazard Mitigation Assistance such as the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program, which prioritizes significant or innovative infrastructure projects.
To have the greatest impact, FEMA encourages smart investments in system-based, community-wide projects to protect those at the most severe and persistent risk.
Climate Adaptation in Action
In 2021, FEMA helped communities increase resilience to climate change by:
- Providing an additional $3.46 billion in Hazard Mitigation grant funding to the
59 major disaster declarations issued due to COVID-19.
- Providing $1 billion in Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) funding for hazard mitigation projects — twice what was available in the first year of the BRIC program.
For example, helping a community adopt and enforce disaster resistant building codes improves the resilience of the whole community. Research has shown that every dollar invested in building to the latest codes and standards results in $11 of future avoided losses.
Therefore, advancing disaster resistant building codes through FEMA policies, programs, guidance, communications, and partnerships with state and local code
officials are critical steps toward achieving a resilient nation. So that FEMA climate resilience investments move the nation closer to equity, the agency is also committed to using comprehensive risk and community data to ensure underserved and vulnerable communities are prioritized. FEMA can better target investments to the most transformational projects when FEMA and its partners better understand unique risks posed by climate change.
“The impacts of the climate emergency on both our national and collective global security are vast.”– Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security