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Biden doubles FEMA pre-disaster funding to $1 billion to prepare states for extreme weather

The Biden administration plans to invest $1 billion helping states prepare for extreme weather ahead of the 2021 hurricane season, alongside an initiative to track natural disasters through a new NASA program.

Why it matters: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects above-average storm activity during the next hurricane season, which would make this the sixth unusually active season in a row.

  • The administration's $1 billion pledge doubles the amount of money the government had previously spent helping communities brace for extreme weather through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program.
  • Floods, hurricanes, and wildfires are key areas of focus for preparing localities for disaster, the White House said. The administration plans to use NASA's Earth System Observatory to forecast and monitor natural disasters.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: By increasing sea levels, climate change is making hurricanes more destructive and costly. There is also evidence showing that warming sea and air temperatures are causing nature's most powerful storms to become even stronger.

  • More storm resilience funding, in addition to launching the NASA program, demonstrates the Biden administration's continued focus on the impacts of extreme weather events on the economy.

What to watch: The first named storm of the season, Subtropical Storm Ana, formed and dissipated over the weekend in the North Atlantic.

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