Speaking at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters on Monday, President Joe Biden appeared to be unable to read from his notes, struggling to remember the point he was making about his plan to spend a billion taxpayer dollars on natural disaster preparation.
“But, uh, there’s, you know, there to be, you know, beginning, uh, this effort for 2021 is, uh – I think we’ve learned a few lessons from last year, as well,” Biden sputtered as he stared at his notes:
“And so, it’s about – not about Red States and Blue States – you all know that, it’s about having people’s backs in the toughest moments that they face, ready with food, water, blankets, shelters and more.
“But, uh, there’s, you know, there to be, you know, beginning, uh, this effort for 2021 is, uh – I think we’ve learned a few lesson from last year, as well.
“There’s help, there’s the moving, they’re, um, you know, being there to help, ah, clear roads, rebuild main streets and so that the families can get back to their lives. That’s what FEMA does, every single day.”
Biden was touting his decision to double funding of a FEMA “pre-disaster building” program, described in a White House announcement:
Today, the Administration is announcing it will:
- Provide $1 billion for communities through FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program. FEMA will provide $1 billion in 2021 for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, a portion of which will be targeted to disadvantaged communities. BRIC supports states, local communities, tribes, and territories in undertaking pre-disaster hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards. This level of funding level is double the amount provided last year. The program seeks to categorically shift the federal focus from reactive disaster spending and toward research-supported, proactive investment in community resilience so that when the next hurricane, flood, or wildfire comes, communities are better prepared.