Congress Should Improve Disaster Relief Through More Robust Resilience, Recovery investments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress needs to build upon the disaster-recovery package the U.S. House of Representatives passed earlier this week with additional investments in wildfire mitigation, coastal restoration, and resilience projects that will help communities endure future climate-fueled disasters. 
“Federal disaster-recovery funding needs to not only make communities whole in the wake of Western wildfires, Hurricane Ida, and other severe storms — restoring essential services, repairing public infrastructure, and helping rebuild, — but also prepare for the next climate-fueled fires, floods, heatwaves, drought, and hurricanes,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Every federal dollar invested in resilience saves us $6 in future recovery costs. The most fiscally responsible choice is to invest heavily in tested natural infrastructure, from forest and grassland restoration to mitigate wildfires to wetland and coastal resilience projects, like those in the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan.
“We’re going to remain trapped in this viscous, reactionary cycle until Congress makes meaningful, robust investments in both decarbonization and resilience, like those envisioned by the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package.”
Lawmakers’ consideration of this disaster-recovery package follows the release of the National Wildlife Federation’s “Unnatural Disasters” report, which highlights how the climate crisis is fueling hurricanes, floods, wildfires, algal outbreaks, droughts, and heatwaves that threaten people and wildlife alike. 


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