According to the United States Global Change Research Program, more frequent and intense extreme weather, and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits and security to the nation. In 2020 alone, the United States faced 22 severe weather and climate disasters costing $95 billion in damages to homes, businesses, and infrastructure and wide-ranging economic and social disruption.
These types of events also pose a homeland security risk as well, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has prioritized addressing the climate crisis. The severity of these events demonstrates how important it is to prepare and take steps to adapt to climate change impacts, helping communities not only become more resilient but better positioned to recover and thrive post-event. Resilience involves more than just withstanding disasters and disruptions; it is also about adapting to an evolving environment to be disaster-ready from the community to the national levels. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) takes its responsibility to the planet very seriously and has a history of work—particularly, in its support of public safety and first responders—aimed at adapting to climate-related risks and building resilience that aligns with administration priorities to address climate change challenges.