President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met today with Cabinet members and agency heads to receive a briefing on the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook and to discuss the Federal preparedness, response, and recovery posture – a meeting he has convened each year since taking office. The President also received a briefing on the ongoing wildfire season and Federal efforts to reduce wildfire risk in the United States. He was briefed by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas; Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland; Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell; Administrator of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Richard Spinrad; Director of the National Hurricane Center Dr. Mike Brennan; Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Lieutenant General Scott Spellmon; Chief of the United States Forest Service Randy Moore; and Assistant Director for Fire and Aviation from the National Interagency Fire Center Grant Beebe.
The President and his team discussed ongoing efforts to prepare for these extreme weather events and what is being done to improve response and resilience. They spoke about the new tools climate experts are harnessing, such as advanced satellite technology, that are improving how we forecast wildfires and storms to ensure that we act quickly to preposition response and recovery assets. The National Hurricane Center’s new director, Dr. Mike Brennan, previewed NOAA’s new Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System, a hurricane modeling system that provides accurate information about hurricanes – their track, intensity, and associated storm surge – and ultimately saves more lives.
They also spoke about the President’s historic investments through his Investing in America agenda, including record funding to increase community resilience to drought, flooding, and wildfires – and how communities will be stronger from investments in hardening our grid and using stronger materials like concrete poles and burying utility lines. They also discussed coastal resilience, and the work the USACE is doing to control beach erosion, including the Lee County, Florida Beach Erosion Control Project, which will restore approximately 1.8 miles of eroded beach with 320,000 cubic yards of sand. During his concluding remarks, the President highlighted the 32,000 projects around the country that his Investing in America agenda has funded and encouraged Americans to visit build.gov and use the map to find out about resilient infrastructure investments in their communities. He also used the opportunity to thank the brave first responders who work around the clock and put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe.