In advance of what’s expected to be another busy hurricane and wildfire season, the Biden administration is doubling to $1 billion the amount of funding available to help states and local communities prepare for extreme weather events.
The administration also announced Monday the development of new climate data systems to help NASA understand and track how climate change is impacting communities.
“Now is the time to get ready for the busiest time of the year for disasters in America,” President Joe Biden said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Hurricane season in the south and east, and the fire season out west.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts 13 to 20 named storms will develop during hurricane season, which begins June 1. That would be the sixth consecutive year of above-normal activity.
Last year, a record 30 named storms formed, including 14 hurricanes, of which seven were major hurricanes.
All weather and climate-related disasters in 2020 cost communities across the United States nearly $100 billion combined, according to the administration.
The White House said it wants to shift the focus from “reactive disaster spending” to helping communities better prepare for the next hurricane, flood or wildfire.
That also means investing in climate research to better understand extreme weather events, according to the administration.
“We all know that these storms are coming,” Biden said. “We don’t have a moment to lose in preparing for 2021.”