Climate Change Omitted from FEMA Report

On December 3, 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published the 2019 National Preparedness Report. The report, which is updated annually, evaluates the adequacy of measures taken to prepare for natural disasters and other hazards. The 2019 version notes that the U.S. "faced severe weather incidents in 2018," and that "the number of [weather-related] disasters each year is increasing." It does not, however, discuss the impact of climate change on extreme weather events. In fact, the 2019 version omits any reference to climate change or related issues, such as sea level rise.

Previous versions of the National Preparedness Report have discussed the threats posed by climate change and identified resources available to assist local governments and others in preparing for it. When asked why similar information was not included in the 2019 version, a FEMA spokesperson told reporters that "[r]egardless of why the climate is changing, emergency managers have to be poised to respond to disasters and support preparedness efforts nationwide."