Rolling Out

FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell discusses climate change issues

FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell discusses climate change issues
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During a recent interview with rolling out, FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell discussed climate change and how her agency can help the public during natural disasters.

What’s really going on with the planet?
I think what we’re going to start to see is these [disasters] are going to become more and more frequent as a result of climate change. We’re seeing it across the country, we’re seeing the wildfires in the West, we’re seeing hurricanes intensify more rapidly, we’re seeing flooding, and we’re going to start to continue to see more of these as the climate continues to change.

What should people understand that they do have at least the support of FEMA, the services available to them now?
FEMA’s role during events like this is to help state and local jurisdictions when it exceeds their capability. We have funding through what we call the disaster relief fund to support state and local jurisdictions and their efforts to respond to and recover from these types of events that we’re seeing. The biggest role that I think we need to continue to think about to reduce the amount of effort that it’s going to take for the entire emergency management system to respond, is we need to now invest in mitigation. President Biden recently released close to $5 billion in mitigation funding to help communities across the country reduce the impacts from these threats that we’re going to see decades from now.

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