Environment Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Natural Disaster Preparedness, Recovery in the Wake of Climate Change

Jun 20, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (June 20, 2019)—On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, Rep. Harley Rouda, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, will hold a hearing to examine natural disaster recovery and preparedness in the wake of climate change.  

 

WHERE: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building 

 

WHEN: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

 

TIME: 2:00 p.m. EST

 

The hearing will be broadcast here

 

PURPOSE

 

  • The Subcommittee will examine federal, state, and local preparations for the 2019 hurricane and wildfire season and assess the status of recoveries from the Southern California wildfires of 2017-2018 and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in Houston, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

 

  • The hearing will also highlight the fundamental challenges that climate change poses to federal disaster preparedness and recovery, including the link between warmer global temperatures and more intense hurricane and wildfire seasons. 

 

BACKGROUND

 

 

  • In March 2018, FEMA removed all references to “climate change” from its strategic plans for the next four years.  

 

 

  • The Governmental Accountability Office’s (GAO) audits related to the 2017 natural disaster season uncovered logistical problems with resource distribution, lack of training of responders in local customs and traditions, and insufficient coordination and information sharing between federal agencies and non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross and local community groups.

 

WITNESSES

 

Christopher P. Currie

Director

Emergency Management, Disaster Recovery, and DHS Management Issues

Homeland Security and Justice Team

U.S. Government Accountability Office

 

The Honorable Daniel Kaniewski

Deputy Administrator for Resilience

Acting Deputy Administrator

Federal Emergency Management Agency

 

Dr. Michael E. Mann

Distinguished Professor of Meteorology

Director, Earth System Science Center

The Pennsylvania State University

 

James Lee Witt

Former Director

Federal Emergency Management Agency

 

Stephen Costello

Chief Recovery Officer

City of Houston

 

Mark S. Ghilarducci

Director

California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

 

Omar J. Marrero

Executive Director

Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction, and Resilience

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

 

Adrienne L. Williams-Octalien

Director

Office of Disaster Recovery

Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority

 

Dr. Judith Curry (minority witness)

President

Climate Forecast Applications Network

116th Congress