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Idea of the Day: Creating a Federal Resilience Fund to Protect Americans from Future Extreme Weather

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As the peak of hurricane season draws closer, it is a good time to discuss an overlooked but critical element of President Barack Obama’s recently announced Climate Action Plan. One of the three major parts of the climate plan will increase communities’ resilience to extreme weather. This portion includes valuable proposals “to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate that are already being felt across the country … by building stronger and safer communities and infrastructure.” The plan will marshal existing federal resources to help communities become more resilient to destructive extreme weather events, including storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, and wildfires.

The president’s resilience plan is beneficial but insufficient to protect Americans’ lives, homes, and businesses, as well as reduce federal disaster-relief spending. The plan does not specifically seek a federal revenue stream to fund resilience projects, though it encourages federal agencies to find resources in their existing—but shrinking, thanks to sequestration—budgets to fund these important tasks.

Additional federal resources for resilience are essential to accomplish these vital goals and ensure that all of our communities are prepared to deal with a more volatile climate in the future. We urge the federal government to estimate the cost of future resilience needs and identify and adopt additional revenue sources to pay for them as quickly as possible.

For more on this topic, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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