Today, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced the agency’s progress on its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan and posture for the year ahead.
FEMA completed the first year of its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, developing stakeholder informed, actionable plans that build the foundation needed to achieve our ambitious goals. During this planning phase, the agency also identified and executed immediate actions that could be taken to bring us closer to each of these goals.
“We are proud of the progress we’ve made in becoming the FEMA our nation needs and deserves and look forward to building on this foundation for years to come,” said Criswell. “In coordination with our partners, we are finding ways to better support the diverse communities that we serve and prepare for the increasing complexity of disasters.”
The following are updates to the three pillars of the strategic goals:
Strategic Goal 1: Instill equity as a foundation of emergency management
In a continued effort to put people first in its programs and policies, FEMA simplified its Individual Assistance application process, leading to over 100,000 survivors receiving assistance who would have previously been ineligible. That meant more than $600 million in additional assistance got into the hands of survivors recovering from disaster.
Aligning with the Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, FEMA committed to ensuring 40% of the benefits of pre-disaster grant programs go to underserved communities. As a result, approximately $510 million is going to communities that meet underserved or disadvantaged criteria.
To better serve Tribal Nations, the agency published its first ever “National Tribal Strategy.” This strategy was developed hand-in-hand with tribal communities for the agency to take critical steps toward delivering training and assistance that meets the unique needs of tribal communities. The agency also appointed the first tribal political appointee in FEMA’s history to advise Administrator Criswell on tribal affairs, while working to ensure that FEMA lives up to its treaty and trust responsibilities to Tribal Nations.
As FEMA works to ensure preparedness information is available to all communities, especially those often hit hardest by disasters and emergencies, FEMA’s Ready Campaign launched its first-ever public service preparedness campaigns in 2021 and 2022, aimed at underserved communities.
Strategic Goal 2: Lead whole of community in climate resilience
With the passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, FEMA will invest $6.8 billion in community-wide mitigation to reduce disaster suffering and avoid future disaster costs the nation is facing due to climate change.
In April, FEMA announced the agency’s “Building Codes Strategy” to help organize and prioritize agency activities to advance the enforcement of hazard-resistant building codes and standards.
FEMA also co-leads the White House’s Relocation Subcommittee alongside the U.S. Department of the Interior. This subcommittee gathers federal agencies to explore issues and strategies to support voluntary movement away from high-risk regions. FEMA is awarding approximately $17.7 million to assist three different Tribal Nations with relocation expenses and hazard mitigation projects.
In 2022, FEMA also expanded access to some mitigation grant programs to benefit underserved communities by helping them meet the required Benefit-Cost Analysis and doubling the number of communities receiving direct technical assistance.
Strategic Goal 3: Promoting and sustaining a ready FEMA and prepared nation
To improve agency readiness, the agency has established a Ready FEMA Framework that serves to improve FEMA‘s ability to define, measure and build capabilities to meet current and emergent requirements across all mission areas, while sustaining the agency’s vital steady-state functions. To support this, FEMA is increasing the capacity of its National Response Coordination Center.
In addition to improving FEMA’s readiness posture, the agency is supporting the readiness efforts of the nation, including efforts of individuals, states, territories, local governments and Tribal Nations. In collaboration with its federal interagency partners FEMA developed the Recovery and Resilience Resource Library webpage, Roadmaps to Federal Resources for Disaster Recovery and the Community Recovery Management Toolkit.
Last year, FEMA launched the Emergency Manager Exchange Program allowing state, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers and government officials to work alongside FEMA staff and leadership on developing and implementing policies and programs.
Also in 2022, to help all communities prepare, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security provided a record amount of $250 million from the Nonprofit Security Grant program. Through this grant, more than 1,800 nonprofit and religious organizations received funding for security enhancements to protect against potential threats.
“FEMA continues to improve our nation’s ability to face ongoing and emergent disasters, taking immediate actions over the past year to make our programs more accessible, strengthen our workforce and develop tools that allow communities to identify threats and prepare for disasters,” continued Criswell. “Through thoughtful and coordinated efforts with our partners across the emergency management enterprise, we have laid the foundation to make further, lasting change in the execution of these ambitious goals and we will continue to learn, grow and share our progress along the way.”