Climate change, poverty and insufficient medical care are three factors influencing emergency management efforts across the United States.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the 2022 National Preparedness Report, revealing the impacts that climate change and associated natural disasters continue to have on emergency management capabilities and communities across the country.
This year’s report presents preparedness data through the lens of risks and capabilities and underscores the challenges that emergency managers face in addressing a continuously expanding risk environment, the ingenuity they have shown to rise to those challenges and opportunities that remain to better prepare the nation.
The report summarizes the state of national preparedness, discussing the risks the nation faces and how those risks drive whole-community emergency management capability requirements. The report includes the following findings, among others:
- Climate change continues to impact the nation and worsen existing vulnerabilities. The report found that in 2021, 92% of communities identified at least one natural hazard associated with climate change as being most stressful to emergency management capabilities in their assessments. The U.S. experienced a total of $20 billion climate and weather-related disasters.
- The nation may not be adequately prepared to provide sufficient body recovery/storage and medical care in the face of a catastrophic disaster. When comparing total Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR) data from 2021 against the national capability targets, the nation overall has the lowest capability in the body recovery/storage and medical care target areas.
- Factors such as poverty, lack of access to transportation and over-capacity housing occupancy continue to weaken the violence prevention preparedness of individuals and communities to prevent injury, death and financial loss in a disaster.
For more report findings, click here.