President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law bolsters FEMA’s climate resiliency efforts

November 16, 2023

FEMA’s enhanced resilience initiatives post Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Two years following the enactment of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, FEMA has made significant strides in bolstering the nation’s resilience against climate threats, such as wildfire.

This legislation, a part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, has infused nearly $7 billion over five years into existing grant programs and introduced new initiatives to mitigate disaster impacts and reduce future disaster costs​​.

Record funding for resilience grant programs

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, FEMA’s annual resilience grant programs have seen historic funding levels.

The combined funding for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance programs soared from $660 million at the start of President Biden’s term to approximately $2 billion in the latest funding cycle.

Notably, the Swift Current program, part of Flood Mitigation Assistance and the first to be funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aims to expedite mitigation grants for homes and buildings repeatedly affected by floods.

In 2022, Swift Current allocated $60 million to states impacted by Hurricane Ida, and in November 2023, FEMA announced an additional $300 million for the 2023 funding cycle​​.

Expanded funding for diverse FEMA programs

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law extends beyond the BRIC and Flood Mitigation Assistance programs, encompassing a range of FEMA initiatives.

This includes $1 billion over four years for State and Local Cybersecurity Grants, $733 million over five years for the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams program and the National Dam Safety State Assistance Grant Program, and $500 million over five years for the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund program.

These funds aim to address various aspects of climate resilience and cybersecurity, benefiting states, local communities, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia​​.

FSJA Comment

The advancements made by FEMA, fueled by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, mark a significant evolution in the United States’ approach to disaster resilience and climate change adaptation.

These efforts are especially crucial for the fire and safety industry, as they directly address the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires, storms, and other climate-related disasters.

The substantial increase in funding for resilience grants and the introduction of diverse programs underscore a proactive strategy to mitigate risks and protect communities.

By focusing on infrastructure resilience, cybersecurity, and disaster recovery, FEMA’s initiatives offer a comprehensive blueprint for enhancing safety and preparedness in the face of evolving climate challenges.

This strategic investment not only safeguards lives and property but also represents a forward-thinking approach to disaster management, setting a precedent for other nations grappling with similar challenges.

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