Dear Member of Congress,
Hurricane Harvey is tearing through the southern Gulf States, leaving destruction, damage, and fear for millions of families. While rescue missions are still taking place to save those trapped in their homes, we know that recovery from this historical storm must begin immediately.
While FEMA has $3.3 billion in disaster relief funds available, it won’t be nearly enough. A report by CoreLogic estimates that Hurricane Harvey could cause $39.6 billion of damage of homes alone in its immediate path.
We ask that Congress appropriate additional emergency funding for those areas affected by Hurricane Harvey immediately, with special attention to the needs of low-income and vulnerable people and communities, so families, businesses, and communities can begin the recovery effort. More funding will be necessary to begin clean up; repair damaged houses, schools, businesses, and infrastructure; provide aid to displaced families; help those who have lost their homes and livelihoods; provide healthcare and nutrition assistance to those in need; and bring in additional emergency response teams. Anyone who has turned on the television in recent days knows this is an emergency situation and the families in our Gulf States need an emergency response.
Federal funding should be increased immediately, but should not come at the expense of other programs that support our families’ health care, nutrition, housing, education, and welfare. Under current law, emergency funding is not included under existing budget caps, and Congress should follow the law to ensure an immediate and effective response without causing other harm.
We must learn lessons from past natural disasters and respond with immediacy and not allow politics to get in the way of a strong national response.