As part of our soon to be released All American Plan for Protecting Our Children’s Future, The Evangelical Environment Network strongly supports the THE STRONG ACT OF 2012: STRENGTHENING THE RESILIENCY OF OUR NATION ON THE GROUND introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Extreme weather events such as Superstorm Sandy and the 2012 summer drought will only continue in frequency in coming years the cost of which will be disproportionate on our children and generations yet unborn. The Strong Act offers an initial step for national preparedness and planning efforts to coordinate regional, state, and local communities to ready our nation for the increasing severity of extreme weather events. We strongly agree with the assertion that “economic savings can be achieved by considering the impacts of extreme weather over the short- and long-term” in federal, state, and local planning.
Strong coordination and analysis is critical in mitigating impacts that range from long term infrastructure failure, such as the lengthened power outages in Long Island and West Virginia in 2012, greater risk of injury and property loss from inadequate planning, and the potential local impact on human health from the release of unsecured toxins and other hazardous waste from an extreme weather event. “Extreme weather simply hurts our children the most,” stated The Rev. Mitch Hescox, EEN’s President, “The trauma let alone the physical harm inflicted on kids will only worsen as extreme weather becomes more intense and more frequent.”