WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP/CNN) — With just about a week to go before the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane season, President Joe Biden announced his administration is doubling U.S. emergency spending to help communities prepare for hurricanes and other extreme weather events.
Biden traveled to FEMA headquarters in Washington on Monday to get an update on preparations for the hurricane season.READ MORE: Fort Lauderdale PD Confirms Driver Accidentally Hit Wilton Manors Pride Parade Participants
The $1 billion in U.S. emergency spending is a small fraction of what the U.S. spends on weather-related disasters. Last year, disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes and snowstorms, had a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion.
“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.
2021 has already had significant storms that caused a deadly blackout in Texas and other states and underscore the damage caused by climate change.
“We all know that these storms are coming, and we’re going to be prepared. We have to be ready. We have to be ready. When disaster strikes we have to be there to protect and also help people recover,” Biden said.
The money is for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, and a portion of that will target disadvantaged communities, according to the White House.READ MORE: Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Of The Seas Leaves PortMiami For First Simulated Sailing
The administration will also tap NASA to develop “next generation climate data systems” to track the impact of climate change via its Earth System Observatory.
The funding and actions are part of Biden’s ongoing efforts toward addressing climate change, a top administration priority that the President views as paramount to national security.
Last month, Biden hosted world leaders for a virtual summit on climate. He committed the US to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% below its 2005 levels by 2030. Biden has also rejoined the Paris climate agreement after his predecessor exited the accords.
“As climate change threatens to bring more extreme events like increased floods, sea level rise, and intensifying droughts and wildfires, it is our responsibility to better prepare and support communities, families, and businesses before disaster — not just after,” the White House fact sheet said.
It continued, “This includes investing in climate research to improve our understanding of these extreme weather events and our decision making on climate resilience, adaptation, and mitigation. It also means ensuring that communities have the resources they need to build resilience prior to these crises.”MORE NEWS: Family Not Taking Time Together For Granted After Father’s Battle With COVID-19
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.)