Climate Change and Natural Disasters: FEMA’s Preparedness Report

Author: Katie Jungjohann

On an annual average, there are 6,800 natural disasters that happen worldwide and 97 of those occur within the United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released the 2022 National Preparedness Report (NPR), revealing the impact on communities and emergency management in correlation to climate change associated with natural disasters. The newly issued NPR outlines the risks and capabilities, while also highlighting management opportunities. Recognizing these key sections will aid in understanding and further enabling emergency managers and whole-community partners across the United States to be equipped with program decisions, priorities, and the capability to support those actions.

FEMA shares how the NPR includes the following findings:

  • “Climate change continues to impact the nation and worsen existing vulnerabilities. The report found that in 2021, 92% of communities identified at least one natural hazard associated with climate change as being most stressful to emergency management capabilities in their assessments. The U.S. experienced a total of $20 billion climate and weather-related disasters.”
  • “The nation may not be adequately prepared to provide sufficient Body Recovery/Storage and Medical Care in the face of a catastrophic disaster. When comparing total Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR) data from 2021 against the National Capability Targets, the nation overall has the lowest capability in the Body Recovery/Storage and Medical Care target areas.”
  • “Factors such as poverty, lack of access to transportation and over-capacity housing occupancy continue to weaken the ability of individuals and communities to prevent injury, death and financial loss in a disaster.”

What is FEMA doing to take the initiative?

FEMA has created a Public Service Announcement (PSA) geared toward socially vulnerable communities. An example includes the translation of FEMA products to Native American Languages to accommodate and prepare tribal nations for when disaster strikes. Additionally, FEMA has updated their mobile app. The app comes in both English and Spanish to extend reach to a broader audience.  The app allows individuals to prepare before, during, and after a natural disaster hits.

The goal coming from FEMA is to prepare our Nation for action in the unfortunate course of a natural disaster. The best way to prepare for natural catastrophes are to continue educating and preparing both government agencies and civilians alike. FEMA has looked through all lenses from customers to government entities to ensure they are doing their best to keep us ready.


Posted by Nora Culeton

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