Here are a few points to focus on when talking to your member of Congress about the important role they play in preventing and addressing large-scale disasters like Hurricane Harvey. We encourage you to personalize this information with your own stories and experiences so your representatives understand the impact their choices will have on you.
The heartbreaking scenes from the Houston region – of desperate families tweeting for help after emergency lines were overloaded, of families struggling to stay above water long enough to be evacuated from historic floods, and so much more – are a stark reminder that any of us could be just a single storm away from losing everything that matters most to us, including our own lives and loved ones. But while we can’t prevent everything that nature has in store for us, we can work together to prevent, prepare, and recover from natural and human-made disasters, and our members of Congress have a big role to play in those efforts.
As your members of Congress get ready to return to Capitol Hill this September, make sure they know you expect them to do all they can to help the survivors of Hurricane Harvey, and to ensure America is as prepared as possible to deal with future disasters of this scale. Here are a few sample questions you can ask:
- Will you protect funding for agencies and programs like FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Flood Insurance Program which help people recover from disasters like Hurricane Harvey?
- Will you support and fully fund the scientific research done by agencies like the National Weather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and others which help us understand, predict, and prepare for serious weather and climate events like hurricanes?
- Will you fund investment in our neglected national infrastructure, so that our roads, bridges, water systems, and other necessities can both support our everyday lives and withstand mass evacuations and relocations in the event of large-scale disasters?
- Will you take meaningful action to address climate change, which exacerbates natural disasters like hurricanes and will cause resource shortages and related disasters if left unchecked?