ICYMI: Biden-Harris Administration, Highlights Climate Resilience and Disaster Readiness Roundtable

WASHINGTON — FEMA and the DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships brought together nearly 40 nonprofit and federal government agencies to explore collaboration opportunities that strengthen national resilience. Last week’s Climate Resilience and Disaster Readiness Roundtable gathered these leaders together in Washington, D.C. to facilitate in-person coordination efforts. 

Collaboration before disaster events is vital to ensuring we understand how to build on one another’s strengths during a disaster. This is particularly important work ahead of hurricane season and is in alignment with the White House National Climate Resilience Framework.

“Climate is a risk multiplier from the day-to-day issues at both the community and the national level,” said FEMA’s Office of External Affairs Associate Administrator Justin Knighten. “Our changing climate propels already challenging conditions and chaos. The disaster tempo will continue to impact everyone but especially those underserved, left out, or forgotten communities among us that will bear the brunt and burden moving forward. And, together, we have the power to change lives and transform the world around us.” 

The roundtable is a follow up to several engagements focused on the intersection of FEMA’s focus on climate resilience and efforts with community leaders and a coalition of multi-faith leaders. These efforts bring together faith-based and community organizations and partners from private and philanthropic sectors, to share tools and resources to strengthen a whole-of-community approach to climate resilience

FEMA’s Assistant Administrator for Resilience Samantha Medlock said, “As we head into the height of hurricane season, I want to invite you to share your experiences and let FEMA and our federal partners hear directly from you. Tell us what’s working, what needs improvement, and how we can work together to ensure the best possible outcome. Your voices are essential.”

Attendees included National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology; Environmental Protection AgencyUSDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood PartnershipsNational Voluntary Organizations Active in DisastersNext Leadership DevelopmentResilient Nation Partnership Network;National Council of Churches; Disaster Services Corporation – Society of St. Vincent de Paul USAAll Healers Mental Health Alliance; the Historical Black College and University Emergency Management Workforce Consortium; the American Red CrossUnited MegaCareThe William Averette Anderson Fund and other representatives from faith- and community-based organizations. 

“This roundtable reflects FEMA Administrator Criswell’s intent to build the agency our nation needs and deserves,” said DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Director Marcus T. Coleman Jr. “It is partners like those here today who represent the coalitions that are so vital to working hand in hand with the federal government when responding to disasters to keep people first in everything we do.” 

Roundtable attendees learned about efforts to promote climate resilience which includes encouraging feedback for the Draft “Planning Considerations: Putting People First” and using the Guide to Expanding Mitigation: Making the Connection to Faith-Based Partners. They also provided feedback on updates to FEMA’s disaster assistance program for survivors Biden-Harris Administration Reforms Disaster Assistance Program to Help Survivors Recover Faster.

FEMA appreciates the collaboration with our partners and looks forward to future endeavors as together we work toward protecting our future and building a more equitable, sustainable and resilient nation.

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