Admit to Climate Change or Else…
Next year, FEMA will being approving state mitigation grant requests only if they include a governor’s approval of a mitigation plan that includes plans to address climate change. Though this sounds illegal to some people or an overreaching of the Federal Executive branch’s bower, it really is business as usual. This is all published in FEMA’s “State Mitigation Plan Review Guide” set to take effect March 1st, 2016.
As talked about in the 12-Step Program for Emergency Managers post, one way the federal government controls what state and local governments do and don’t do is by controlling the flow of money. For example, the only way at one point for states to get federal highway funds was to adopt the legal drinking age to 21 in their state.
States can also do this internally. One great example is a project I worked on as an Emergency Program Planner at my hometown fire department. the Texas Department of State Health Services Local Projects Grant program allowed for Fire Departments and EMS providers to request funding for projects within the departments that included up to a new ALS (Advanced Life Support) ambulance. The catch was that the municipality had to adopt the Incident Command System as a structure for managing emergencies and enroll the departments equipment/vehicles in the state’s mutual aid database.
The major thing about this mitigation action plan is that it begins bringing stricter requirements on states to improve the damaged infrastructure during recovery rather than just setting things back to the “way they were before”. This is also a resounding similarity with the Disaster Assistance Assistance Reform Act of 2015, which seeks to reduce the ever increasing costs of disasters in the United States. This sound very similar to some of the things I heard Dr. Kenda say at UNT in our Emergency Management classes in that Mitigation is conducted throughout the Emergency Management cycle, not just it’s own part of the process. If we’re doing it right, we’re saving money because if it breaks, we build it back better so it doesn’t break twice.
Read the original article: Here.
Get the State Mitigation Plan Review Guide: Here.
Read the White House Blog post: Here.