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Thursday, July 25, 2024

FEMA Makes Advancements for Climate Resiliency

In the two years since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, FEMA has taken significant steps to build a more resilient nation.

With funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, FEMA has infused extra money into existing grant programs and announced initiatives to find creative ways to reduce disaster impacts and minimize future disaster costs. The historic legislation provides nearly $7 billion over five years for these actions across states, local communities, tribes, territories and the District of Columbia.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has empowered FEMA to take bold actions to enhance resiliency against growing climate threats,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “In the past two years, this infusion of money has allowed the agency to invest in creative programs to ensure communities across the country can build the resilience they need to be prepared to withstand the increasing threats of hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, extreme heat, storms, flooding and other events driven by climate change. As we continue this forward momentum, we encourage more communities to seize these opportunities and apply for this transformational funding.”

Historic Levels of Funding for Two Annual Resilience Grant Programs

The Biden-Harris Administration has approved historic funding levels for FEMA’s annual resilience grant programs. Combined funding for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities and Flood Mitigation Assistance programs increased from $660 million when President Biden first took office to nearly $2 billion in the most recent funding cycle that FEMA announced in October.

Additionally, Flood Mitigation Assistance’s Swift Current program was the first FEMA initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This program gets funding to the ground faster following disasters to support recovery for homes and buildings that have been repetitively flooded and substantially damaged.

In 2022, Swift Current allocated a total of $60 million to Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — all states affected by Hurricane Ida — to equitably expedite mitigation grants to disaster survivors with repetitively flooded homes. On Nov. 14, FEMA announced another round of funding totaling $300 million for the 2023 funding cycle and expanded eligibility criteria so more places could benefit.

Summary of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding for Other FEMA Programs

In addition to the BRIC and Flood Mitigation Assistance programs, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has provided funding for a number of FEMA programs that are taking decisive action to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen resilience nationwide, including in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

The agency will make available $1 billion over four years in State and Local Cybersecurity Grants to support strong cybersecurity practices for states, local communities, tribes and territories. In August, FEMA announced about $375 million for the next funding cycle.

$733 million over five years is available for the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams program and the National Dam Safety State Assistance Grant Program to help state, territorial and local governments take action to address high hazard potential dams that pose dangers to life and property if they fail. On Nov. 2, FEMA announced a total $211 million for the two programs comprised entirely of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds.

$500 million over five years is available for the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund program . This program provides capitalization grants to states, eligible federally recognized tribes, territories and the District of Columbia to establish revolving loan funds. These low-interest loans allow jurisdictions to reduce vulnerability to natural disasters and foster greater community resilience. FEMA made the first selections for this new program this summer. The agency anticipates releasing the next funding opportunity later this year.

Read more information about FEMA programs funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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