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Stopping Climate Catastrophes

Did you know that extreme temperature events, like Portland's heat wave last summer, aren't considered climate-fueled disasters by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)?

Last year alone, climate disasters killed at least 656 Americans and caused $145 billion in damage. Unfortunately, that's just a preview of coming attractions; climate-fueled disasters are a part of our reality and our future. Wildfires, tornadoes, floods, and heat waves are going to keep intensifying, with the worst impacts falling on Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities in the U.S. and around the globe.

But there is still time to take action to keep everyone in our communities safe. I am advancing a legislative agenda to improve our approach to this growing threat. Last week, I introduced the first piece of legislation that fits into that roadmap: the Climate RESILIENCE Act. My bill will:

-Make sure heat waves and deep freezes are recognized as disasters by FEMA;

-Allocate financial and technical assistance to communities for hazard mitigation planning;

-Support partnerships between states, tribes, and territories in climate preparedness efforts;

-Give FEMA the authority to address air quality issues that arise from wildfire smoke;

-Define disadvantaged communities for the first time to ensure those who need the most help get it;

-Help FEMA allocate more funding, stronger community planning, and improved hazard resistance structures and natural infrastructure, and more.

We don't have the luxury of just reacting to the climate crisis. Our movement is leading the way to make sure our country can prepare for climate disasters, repair our communities afterward, as well as take bold steps to contain the crisis and ultimately prevent future disasters.



Posted on January 20, 2022.