President Biden met today with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall, FEMA Acting Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery David Bibo, and other members of his emergency preparedness team to discuss FEMA’s ongoing efforts to prevent, prepare for and respond to extreme weather events, including hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme heat, and wildfires, as well as how to expedite delivery of support to communities in need of Federal help.
The President emphasized the importance of ensuring that the Federal government is prepared to respond quickly to a range of extreme weather scenarios and to support Americans when disasters strike. The President and his team also discussed how to enable communities across our country to build greater resilience in the face of extreme weather, which has been exacerbated by climate change. The President thanked FEMA and other frontline agencies for all they have done to respond to COVID-19 and help vaccinate Americans, and for their support in response to this year’s brutal winter storms and early fire season.
Next week, President Biden will convene Cabinet officials, Governors from Western States, and private sector partners to discuss the devastating intersection of drought, heat, and wildfires in the Western United States, and strengthening prevention, preparedness and response efforts this season. The 2020 wildfire season alone burned over 10 million acres across the United States, resulting in the loss of dozens of lives and tens of billions of dollars in economic damage. Next week’s meeting hosted by the President will focus on how departments and agencies across the Federal Government, in close coordination with State and local governments and the private sector, can most effectively enhance public safety and deliver assistance to our people in times of urgent need.