The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Executive Order: It's Time to Prepare the U.S. for Climate Change

WPresident Barack Obama hugs Amy Simpson, principal of Plaza Towers Elementary School, outside what remains of the school following the tornado in Moore, Okla., May 26, 2013ith the threat of climate-related disasters on the rise, the Obama Administration has released an executive order discussing the need to prepare the U.S. for the effects of climate change. "Executive Order 13653: Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change" discusses the necessity to invest in infrastructure that will help mitigate the force of Superstorms, flooding, and other climate-related issues.

On November 1st, President Obama established a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise his administration on how the government can prepare for disasters and respond to communities after these disasters occur. Climate preparedness will be one of the Task Force's primary objectives.

In June, Obama launched the Climate Action Plan in order to establish a means of responding to the threat of global climate change. The report begins by saying that "[w]hile no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted and damaged. Through steady, responsible action to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our children’s health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so that we leave behind a cleaner, more stable environment." The Action Plan goes on to say that we must cut carbon pollution, lead international efforts to combat climate change, and prepare the U.S. for its effects. Executive Order 13653 addresses the last of these concerns.

Members of the Task Force include state officials, county officials, and tribal leaders from a plethora of communities. See a full list of the Task Force members in the Executive Order Fact Sheet.

One of the Homeland Security's Featured Topics includes Climate Change. the HSDL has a wide variety of resources on this topic, including hearings, military aspects, regional issues, reports, studies, treaties, and websites.