FEMA Hazard Mitigation: A First Step Toward Climate Adaptation

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With the increasing severity and frequency of natural disasters, attributed at least in part to climate change, policymakers often view mitigation funding as a way to control disaster-related spending. The importance of federal mitigation funding is illustrated by a recent study that looked at the impacts of 23 years of federal mitigation grants and found that for every $1 invested by federal grant programs, society as a whole saved $6 due to reduced future losses.

FEMA has a lead role in guiding nationwide mitigation of extreme weather events, including those resulting from the impacts of climate change. In particular, FEMA administers the federal government’s most significant grant programs for pre-and post-disaster mitigation. FEMA has identified hazard mitigation as one of the main ways in which the agency will enhance resilience to the effects of climate change and lead federal climate change adaptation efforts…

This report gives an overview of FEMA funding for mitigation, including issues related to equity, and suggests considerations for Congress that may enhance FEMA’s support for hazard mitigation and climate adaptation.

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