Urge Congress to pass effective disaster reform programs
Many of us in the U.S. and across the world either have experienced, or are experiencing, the detrimental effects of floods, severe storms, hurricanes, tornados, and wildfires. The impact from the increased frequency of disasters, compounded by the rising influences of slow-onset climate change, make it essential for our institutions and public policies to be better prepared for this ongoing reality.
Across the U.S. and abroad, houses of worship and faith-based organizations are some of the most important partners in preparing communities for disasters and are often a vital presence that remains in impacted areas long after a catastrophe strikes. From our social teachings and mission as church, voices of faith are uniquely poised to speak to the prioritization of low-income neighborhoods and individuals in the greatest need most of whom are often the last to see any assistance in a recovery. Lawmakers in Congress are eager to hear from our experiences in disaster relief as they take vital steps to prepare our communities to be more resilient in the future.
Congress now has the chance to pass the bipartisan Reforming Disaster Recovery Act, a bill that would, among many changes, increase federal response transparency with community partners, raise commitments to long-term resiliency after reconstruction, and authorize the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) disaster relief program into formal law (more about CDBG programs from our ELCA “Housing and Disaster Response” resource).
These structural policy efforts, paired with the work of our ministries and partners, will go a long way toward advancing our goals of building more resilient and equitable communities. Our lawmakers in Congress need to hear that disaster relief, preparedness and resilience are priorities for people of faith, and that these essential efforts and reforms should be advanced as soon as possible.
Take action with the letter below urging passage of the Reforming Disaster Recovery Act. Visit ELCA Lutheran Disaster Response to learn more about how you can support survivors of recent disasters.
Customize the letter below with your own story, disaster experience, or faith-based reflection to Congress today.