While a heat wave blankets significant portions of the United States, the White House is convening officials to focus on preparations for the extreme temperatures.
Record high temperatures have hit communities in the U.S. multiple times over the past week, according to data from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
The White House will meet with mayors, local officials and tribal officials from communities dealing with "long duration extreme heat events to bolster preparedness," a White House official said.
The meeting this month is expected to bring together officials with emergency response agencies and volunteer organizations to focus on support for vulnerable populations and communities.
"The meeting will include Federal emergency response agencies and voluntary organizations such as the American Red Cross to identify what can be done now to support vulnerable populations and discuss how the Federal government can provide support to State, local and Tribal partners to better equip communities in managing extreme heat that so many Americans are facing this summer," the official said.
On Tuesday, the administration announced further steps focused on addressing extreme heat. The White House said officials will develop a national heat strategy.
The NOAA will establish two virtual research centers with a $5 million investment from the Inflation Reduction Act. The centers are expected to "provide technical assistance and actionable, locally-tailored information that historically marginalized and underserved communities can use to better prepare for extreme heat," according to the White House information.
The White House also met with leaders during a Summit on Climate Resilience and Sustainability in Affordable Housing.
The White House said in the first half of 2023 there was $12 billion in costs related to weather and climate events across the country, calling the situation alarming and requiring an "all of society response."
President Biden has made climate a key part of his agenda, including in international engagements and through the Inflation Reduction Act, which the administration has worked to tout in cross-country tours with administration leaders despite Republican criticism of the major legislative item.
Biden has called climate change an existential threat to humanity.
"It's the most serious problem we face as human beings. We have to keep it below 1.5 degrees Celsius," Biden said in June during a press conference alongside India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Biden was touting the progress the U.S. has made on utilizing renewable energy, in land and sea conservation and in increasing funding.
Meanwhile, the White House said it was monitoring flooding impacts.
On Tuesday President Biden approved an emergency disaster declaration for Vermont as the state deals with flooding, and spoke with Governor Phil Scott, Senator Bernie Sanders and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell to reaffirm the administration's commitment to federal assistance for the state.
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