US Vice President Kamala Harris outlined more than $1 billion in federal expenditures to deal with disasters like the devastating flooding in Kentucky and wildfires ravaging her home state of California.
During a trip to Miami, Harris also disclosed a number of awards that would be made available to states to aid local governments around the nation in disaster response and preparation.
Before the grant announcement, Harris visited the National Hurricane Center and stated that tragedies like the Kentucky floods and the California wildfires demonstrate “how immediate, how current, and how essential” it is to handle extreme weather that is occurring in the US and around the world.
“And the takeaway is clear: As the climate crisis gets worse, extreme weather will pose a rapidly growing danger to a rapidly growing number of communities. So, to protect the people of our nation, let us understand that we can match that desire with action and that we must act now,” Harris said in a remark she delivered at Florida International University.
According to Harris, who cited research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were 20 climate-related disasters in the United States in 2021 that each cost more than $1 billion to repair.
In the 1990s, there were around six climate catastrophes each year.
Harris added that leaders like herself and President Joe Biden “have a duty to act, not only after disaster strikes, but before disaster strikes, and that is why we are here today.”
The White House is in charge of a government-wide response to climate disasters that “recognizes the urgency of this moment and our ability to do something about it,” Harris said.
The billion-dollar grant program Harris unveiled will quadruple funding for nationwide projects to ward off extreme weather occurrences from the previous year.
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