The Biden administration is making $1 billion available to states, territories, rural communities and tribes to prepare for hurricanes and other extreme weather events, events the administration believes are linked to climate change. It’s double the amount that was made available for that purpose in fiscal year 2020. 

The White House says the cost of extreme weather events has been extremely high, and in 2020, 22 different weather and climate-related disasters cost the U.S. more than $1 billion each for a total price tag of almost $100 billion. The $1 billion available through the Building Resilience Infrastructure and Communities program, a FEMA pre-disaster mitigation program, is smaller than some climate advocates had hoped, but larger than the $500 million that was available through the BRIC program in in fiscal year 2020.

“I’m here today to make it clear that I will assist on nothing less than readiness for all these challenges,” the president said ahead of a hurricane season briefing at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C. We’re going to make sure that men and women are famous, and are other keys have everything they need, everything they need because I’ve got an incredibly difficult job. Today I’m announcing that FEMA is going to make a $1 billion available to the states, territories and tribes and rural communities through the building resilience infrastructure and Communities program, so-called BRIC program.”

In addition to a deadly pandemic, 2020 brought 30 named storms in the Atlantic Basin, a record. And the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects another busy hurricane season. Forecasters believe there will be between 13 and 20 named storms in 2021, according to NOAA.

“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 said in a release about the funding. “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.”

Mr. Biden insists that addressing the effects of climate change is front and center in his administration, and has sought to roll back Trump-era regulations related to the environment and to work with other nations on addressing harmful gas emissions. 

A recent study from Nature Communications found the cost of the damage from 2012’s deadly Superstorm Sandy increased by $8.1 billion — or 13% of the total cost — compared to what it would have been in a world without climate change.