Climate Disasters are Getting Worse — Congress Can Help

September 21, 2023

The Hill

See original article here.

It’s been a banner summer for climate-related disasters. Wildfires devastated Maui, a tropical storm slammed low-lying desert communities in Southern California, record flooding in Vermont inundated the state’s capitol, and Hurricane Idalia battered the Gulf Coast.

If it feels like disasters are happening more often, it’s because they are — major disaster declarations have been increasing each year since the government started collecting data in the 1950s.

With more and more disasters occurring across the U.S., now is the time to discuss the long-term role of the federal government in helping survivors recover. The insurance market has been withdrawing from states, and while civil society organizations are often more nimble and responsive than government agencies, they often lack the resources to provide comprehensive relief. The federal government is currently the only entity well-positioned to provide more comprehensive assistance.

But the state of the agency tasked with providing that relief — Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — suggests that Congress’s response so far has been a collective shrug.

Read more on The Hill.

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