WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will double funding for communities to prepare for extreme weather events ahead of a hurricane season that meteorologists warn will bring above-normal activity to the Atlantic.
Biden made the announcement Monday at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's headquarters, where he was briefed about projections for the hurricane season. Biden also announced a new climate data system by NASA to help understand and track the effects of climate change, the White House said.
"We're going to spare no expense, no effort to keep Americans safe and respond to crises when they arise, and they certainly will," Biden said. "Now is the time to get ready for the busiest time of the year for disasters in America — hurricane season in the South and East, and the fire season out West."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an "above-normal Atlantic hurricane season" last week, but forecasters don't expect the historic level of storms last year.
The administration, which has been taking a number of steps to address the effects of climate change on weather, seeks to take a more proactive rather than a reactive response. Biden signed an executive order last week directing federal agencies to identify and disclose how their programs will be affected by the changing climate.
The $1 billion the White House announced Monday will fund a program called Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities, which prepares for extreme weather events and other disasters.
The White House said the U.S. suffered 22 weather- and climate-related disasters last year with losses exceeding $1 billion apiece, with a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion.