FEMA Releases 2022 National Preparedness Report Detailing Efforts to Improve Support for Underserved Communities

FEMA released its 2022 National Preparedness Report on December 31. The report addresses the state of disaster preparedness and efforts to increase resilience in the U.S. during 2021. In particular, the report examines the likelihood of occurrence of different hazards, such as wildfires and floods, reported by state and local emergency management agencies, as well as efforts undertaken by FEMA to improve the country’s ability to respond to and recover from such threats.

The report includes a summary of collected Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) data submitted by state and local emergency management officials. The data show that a large majority of communities cited cyberattack as the type of disaster incident most likely to occur and to stretch their ability to respond. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires were also high on the list of disaster incidents cited as likely to occur by communities. The report includes a discussion of the impact of climate change-related events on the likelihood of such incidents occurring, as well as the relationship between social vulnerability – such as food and housing insecurity – and the severity of disaster impacts.

In addition to identifying threats, the report details opportunities to increase equity in individual and community preparedness. While the report cites progress made in providing greater access to disaster recovery assistance – the level of which has been disputed by disaster recovery reform advocates working on the ground in disaster-impacted areas – the report does acknowledge that further work must be done to increase equity when preparing communities for disasters. The report highlights opportunities for data-driven analysis of equity and disaster lists, the creation of greater dialogue between all levels of emergency management and government, and increasing access to disaster recovery resources. Most notably, the report calls on local emergency managers to directly consider the individual social vulnerability characteristics of their communities when designing updated community plans and engaging in preparedness activities.

Read the 2022 National Preparedness Report at: https://bit.ly/3X8tHzS