KIMT News 3 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is making changes that could impact disaster preparedness funds.
The agency says they will only approve these kinds of funds to states who have addressed the issue of climate change in their mitigation’s. That means state leaders like Gov. Terry Branstad, and Gov. Mark Dayton will have to recognize climate change as one of the driving factors in natural disasters, and in doing this, preparedness funds will then be available for their county emergency teams.
Steve O’Neil, the Emergency Management Coordinator for Cerro Gordo County, tells us while this won’t impact relief funds available after disaster strikes, it will make a drastic impact on how counties will prepare themselves for when disasters hit.
“The things that go into outdoor warning sirens and the different programs that we have that we can take into schools for preparedness all of that is pre-planning preparedness planning,” he explains. Without proper funds, projects and programs like this will be tougher to produce, and harder to come by.
Iowa is one of the states in the U.S. who do not have climate change language in their disaster mitigation plans. These plans are reevaluated every five years and O’Neil tells us that one, it’s time for the state to review the plan, Gov. Branstad will have to make the decision on whether or not to include climate change language.
These changes in funding will start next year.