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Climate Resilience in Action

Every day communities across the country are working to address the effects of climate change. Whether they are recovering from wildfires, floods or preparing to withstand the next storm, these communities are finding ways to protect their legacies, build back stronger and become climate resilient.

This page showcases efforts happening across the country, every day, to strengthen our communities. Together, we can build a climate resilient nation.

Building Back Stronger

Planning Ahead

Success Stories

Take Action

FEMA Programs

Building Back Stronger

Princeville, North Carolina is Protecting Their Legacy and Building Their Town Back Stronger

This small historic town, the first to be chartered by freed slaves in America, has suffered from devastating flooding. Today they are working on a plan to build back better and stronger to save their town.

Read the Blog

Image of FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell"We must recognize that we are facing a climate crisis and educate ourselves and the nation about the impacts our changing climate pose to the field of emergency management.”

Deanne Criswell, FEMA Administrator

Historic home in Freeport, NY, is elevated to reduce risks from future flooding
Historic Home in Freeport, NY is Elevated to Reduce Risks from Future Flooding — After Hurricane Sandy, these New York homeowners elevated their house.

Madison Mitigation Projects Reduce Flooding

Every 100 years, the City of Madison, Wisconsin can expect an extreme rainfall of 6-inches. In 2018, they received 12-inches, resulting in catastrophic flooding.

St. Bernard Parish Created Permanent Lake Rim to Help Protect Community from Flooding

Four hundred acres of broken marsh in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana is being restored, including protection to nearly 500 buildings that suffer repeated damage during flooding events.

Read the Case Study

Members of the Santa Clara Pueblo tribe performing a ceremonial dance.

A Tribe’s Journey to Prepare, Mitigate and Recover

The majority of the Santa Clara Pueblo’s forested land was destroyed by a fire in 2011, which eventually caused dangerous erosion and flash flooding. Now the tribe is learning how to build back better to protect from devastating fires and floods.

Read the Case Study

Storm panels, stilts and mitigation protected this Galveston, Texas home from high winds and storm surges.
Mitigation and Home Protection — Storm panels, stilts and mitigation protected this Galveston, Texas home from high winds and storm surges.

Al Dintino Builds a Home that Stands Tall During a Hurricane

During Hurricane Florence, Al Dintino’s house suffered major damage, uprooting the life his family had worked so hard to build.

Building Code Experts are the Key to Making Structures in Our Community Stronger

When disasters threaten our homes, offices and communities, the importance of building codes is more evident than ever.

FEMA’s efforts to make our buildings safer include the creation of the FEMA Building Codes Strategy. This document helps protect property and save lives.

After a school was destroyed by a tornado, the residents of Moore, Oklahoma rebuilt with safety in mind. The new Plaza Towers school contains a large safe room that exceeds current FEMA guidelines.
In Moore, Oklahoma, New Safe Room Protects Residents from Tornadoes — After a school was destroyed by a tornado, the residents of Moore, Oklahoma built the new one with safety in mind. The new Plaza Towers school contains a large safe room that exceeds current FEMA guidelines.

Larissa Santoro
"Our vision is to build a resilient nation. It is rewarding to me to encourage communities to apply current building codes and standards and implement strong resilient measures that save money and reduce pain and suffering for some communities.”

Larissa Santoro, an architect for the Earthquake and Wind programs and one of the experts who helped create the FEMA Building Codes Strategy

Planning Ahead to Protect the Community

The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe Built an Evacuation Tower to Withstand Earthquakes and a Tsunami

From earthquakes to tsunamis, the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe has a lot to worry about it. Sitting on the edge of two tectonic plates, these threats could strike at any moment.

To prepare for this possibility, they made a plan to build a tower that would withstand destructive waves and shaking ground.

Read the Blog

Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe building an evacuation tower.

“Our work really starts with building climate literacy with the American people. We have to take action on a day-to-day basis to be more resilient. Preparedness is key, preparedness will help us recover faster.”

Paul Fericelli, Senior Climate Advisor

Mitigation Works: Santa Barbara County Debris Basin Designed to Protect Homes from Flood after Fire

Rainstorms following the December 2017 – January 2018 Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties caused a destructive debris flow and destroyed the homes. Learn how the community rebuilt and created a sustainable solution to address future disasters.

Nature-Based Solutions

Investing in nature-based approaches to reduce disaster risk can save money, lives and property in the long-term and improve quality of life in the short term.

Dunes can serve as a barrier between the water’s edge and inland areas, buffering waves as a first line of defense.

Explore Nature-Based Solutions

Volunteers plant sea grass on a beach in Florida to help dunes keep their shape, creating abuffer from waves.
Volunteers plant sea grass in Florida to help dunes keep their shape.

Building Community Resilience with Nature-Based Solutions

Nature-Based Solutions report cover

This guide for communities officials emphasizes using nature-based solutions to combat the risk posed by the changing climate.

Download the guide.

Mitigation Grants Prepare Communities for a Changing World

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FEMA grants help communities in high-risk areas be more resilient. This includes nature-based solutions, like adding healthy dunes to help buffer waves.

Read the blog.

Profiles and Success Stories

Tulsa, Oklahoma Sets Example Reducing Risk

In 1984, a flood in Tulsa, Oklahoma left 14 people dead, 288 people injured and 7,000 buildings damaged. This devastating flood was a wake-up call for the people of Tulsa. Now, the city stands out as a leader in helping reduce risk and save lives.

Read the Blog

Tulsa, Oklahoma sets example reducing risk.

Baltimore Sustainability Plan Helps it Become Climate Resilient

Baltimore, Maryland has found itself increasingly at risk from harmful levels of snow and rain, heat waves, and sea level rise.

In 2007, the Baltimore City Council established the Baltimore Office of Sustainability to be a resource and advocate for a resilient city moving forward. The office helped to develop the first Baltimore Sustainability Plan in 2009.

Read the Case Study

Stilt homes on beach in Gilchrist, Texas
Stilt Homes on Beach in Gilchrist, Texas Protect from Increasing Storms — Stilt homes survived the arrival of Hurricane Ike. They were the only structures left standing in the town of Gilchrist, Texas.

Victoria Salinas"In many ways, climate change will be the greatest challenge of this century and will require new ways of thinking, working, and partnering together to improve the outlook for future generations. To meet this challenge, we’re creating new ways to unify FEMA’s many programs, operations, and resources.”
Victoria Salinas, Acting Resilience Deputy Administrator

Building Climate Resilience in North Carolina

Joe Stanton, Deputy Director of Resilience for North Carolina State Emergency Management

Joe discusses why building climate resilience is so important to him.

Dr. Amanda Martin, Chief Resilience Office

Hear why Dr. Martin believes deeply in building climate resilience for communities in North Carolina.

Ways to Take Action

The goal of the page is to be inspired to look here for ways that you can make your community more resilient. This will include actions you can take as an individual, tribe, emergency manager, community leader, local government official and more.

Get Involved

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Do you have a video, photo or blog story you want to contribute?

Share your photos, videos and/or written profiles of emergency managers that help illustrate resilience in action.

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FEMA Programs Addressing Climate Change

Four people, diverse in age and ethnicity, standing next to each other

FEMA is taking a people-first approach to increase climate literacy, develop tools and allocate resources informed by future risk estimates to target investments to create a more equitable and resilient nation.

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Visit FEMA's Climate Change page for the latest FEMA initiatives and blogs, as well as cross-agency links to tools, data, learning and policy.

Learn about sustainable planning, design and engineering practices that weave natural features or processes into the built environment to promote adaptation and resilience.

The Resilient Nation Partnership Network, NASA and 36 partners co-created a resource that provides partner perspectives, personal stories, insights and resources the Whole Community can use to address climate change.

Explore programs to help emergency managers understand their community's risk from disasters and find adaptation resources.

Changes in our climate are increasing the intensity of the disasters we experience. Learn about ways communities can plan ahead to mitigate disaster risk.

FEMA has grant and capacity-building programs dedicated to restoring community infrastructure, increasing resilience and reducing risk from many hazards.

FEMA has grant and Reference the executive orders that guide governmental strategy and policy around climate resilience.