FEMA faces potential funding shortfall amid increasing natural disasters

With hurricanes and heat waves growing more severe, FEMA's funding might deplete before summer's end.

Kristin Toussaint reports for Fast Company.


In short:

  • Record-high ocean temperatures predict an intense hurricane season with up to 25 named storms and 4-7 major hurricanes.
  • FEMA's disaster relief fund is projected to face a $1.3 billion shortfall by August and could be $6.8 billion in deficit by September.
  • The agency may need to pause long-term recovery projects to manage immediate disaster responses, impacting overall disaster management.

Key quote:

"Without additional funding, FEMA will take steps prior to funding exhaustion to ensure resources are available to support ongoing lifesaving and life-sustaining activities."

— FEMA spokesperson

Why this matters:

The rising intensity of these weather events has stretched FEMA's resources thin. Just last year, the agency grappled with a series of devastating hurricanes and wildfires, and this year's forecasts suggest more of the same. With hurricane season in full swing and unprecedented heat waves scorching the nation, FEMA's budget, which must cover immediate disaster response and long-term recovery efforts, is under immense strain.

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