|Andrew White helps a neighbor down a street after rescuing her from her home in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood after it was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey.|
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the devastating storms and flooding in the Houston region. If you can, please support local organizations providing much-needed assistance to the people impacted most. It will take a lot to recover from Harvey in the coming days, weeks and months, but we can do it if we support each other.
Footage of flooding.
Confronting Natural (and Unnatural) Disasters
The Houston region’s historic, devastating flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey stands as a stark reminder of the importance of sound public policy. We need our government to fund vital things like disaster relief and recovery efforts, and to boost disaster prevention efforts, including everything from funding necessary upgrades to our oft-neglected national infrastructure to advancing serious efforts to confront environmental degradation and climate change, which reduces our protection from natural disasters while making those disasters more destructive.
In a political climate where politicians are often rewarded for ignoring or denigrating the role of government in preventing and addressing disasters like Harvey, it’s ever more important for us to remind our elected officials that they have both the power and the responsibility to do what they can to ensure our country is able to meet these kinds of challenges. With just a few days left before members of Congress return to Washington to debate and vote on our national spending priorities, it’s important for us to let them know that we expect them to support tax and budget policies that raise and distribute the resources needed to help current storm survivors and prepare us to withstand the next Harvey.
Use these message points as a starting place to discuss the importance of funding agencies, programs, and services that help us all predict, prevent, and/or deal with large-scale disasters like Hurricane Harvey.
The completely unnatural disasters of poverty and inequality mean that poor and vulnerable people get hit the hardest when disaster strikes. That’s why disaster preparedness isn’t just about getting ready for specific disasters. It’s also about making sure families have the basics all the time, so they are healthy and secure enough to evacuate disaster zones and rebuild their lives afterward. Use the other resources in our recess toolkit to remind your representatives of the importance of making our tax and budget policies work for women and families more generally.