Responding to Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is a national crisis. Dozens have lost their lives and there are thousands more who have been displaced, whose homes are underwater, whose lives have been shattered by Harvey. Our thoughts are with the people of Houston and the other affected communities in Texas and Louisiana.

In a moment when we as a nation are confronting an identity crisis, it is encouraging to see story after story of individuals standing up for one another, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, political beliefs, or immigration status. We hope this kindness, respect, and goodwill will carry over into those important fights still to come.

Many of you might be wondering what more you can do to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Here are few things you can do.

Donate to organizations working on the ground to respond to Harvey

There are dozens of organizations working around the clock to assist those in need in Texas and Louisiana. The best thing you can do right now to help victims of Hurricane Harvey is to donate to those organizations. Here is a list of some of those organizations.

Demand that Congress respond to the Hurricane Harvey crisis

After a month of recess, Congress will be back in session in September with lots of must-pass bills to deal with. First on that list must be responding to Hurricane Harvey. There are thousands of people hurting and they need Congress to offer them relief through federal disaster aid. Members of Congress from the Texas delegation will be leading efforts to pass an aid package for Harvey, and here are ways that you can help make sure we have an appropriate response.

Congress must:

  1. Immediately pass an aid package to provide disaster relief to communities affected by Harvey. The people of Texas and Louisiana who have been affected by Harvey are hurting and they need support. The first thing that Congress should do when they return from August recess is pass a disaster relief aid package. This package should provide adequate funding to respond to immediate needs, like food and water, as well as longer term needs like the years of rebuilding that will be required. Additionally, disaster relief must also take into account that communities of color have been the hardest hit, with adequate funding to help individuals recover and to make sure that the public services communities rely on every day are rebuilt fully and promptly.
    Ask your representative and two senators to quickly pass disaster relief for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
  2. Fund programs designed to prevent and respond to major disasters like Harvey. Trump’s budget calls for massive cuts to the programs that are designed to prevent and respond to natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey. Trump has called for deep cuts to FEMA, the coast guard, and infrastructure grants that help cities prepare for disasters. And for what? To finance his border wall. See this great article on this.
    Ask your Members of Congress to fully fund FEMA and other disaster response programs.
  3. Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program. The National Flood Insurance Program was created to protect American families from floods like the ones we’ve seen in Houston—and it is set to expire on Sept. 30 unless Congress reauthorizes it. Without this program, more American families will be at risk of financial devastation should they face floods like those in Texas. Republicans are insisting that the program be privatized, which will result in sky-high premiums for the families that need it most.
    Ask your MoC to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program—not privatize it.
  4. Take action on climate change. Republican Donald Trump and his friends in Congress may still refuse to believe that climate change is real, despite the overwhelming evidence. The truth is that the only way they’ll be convinced to take meaningful action to address climate change is by hearing from you. You have to make them listen. See our environmental toolkit for more information on how you can help address climate change, even if Congress won’t.