Katrina 10 Year Anniversary: 3 Things YOU Can Do Now

katrina 10 years save the childrenExtreme weather events are becoming so common place in our country and around the world, that we don’t often stop to reflect on what they mean, or how we have or will deal with them – both personally, as a local community, and as a nation. What are we doing to build resiliency in the wake of past and upcoming disasters? August 29th is the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a seminal event in US history. This is an opportune time for us all to take stock, reflect, talk to our children, and also ensure that we are prepared if and when disaster strikes; as it will and it can – none of us are immune.

Katrina, Rita, Sandy, are names forever linked to national disasters here in the US, as is Haiyan in the Philippines. These are just a few of the many examples of extreme storms that have wrecked havoc in communities and where people are still reeling from the after effects, years later. Particularly here in the US, we tend to be very good at “hiding the impacts.” Our quick media cycles help us too easily forget and ignore the aftermaths.

The death and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina shows what the impacts of climate change can look like. The latest National Climate Assessment in the US reveals that the intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest hurricanes, have been increasing since the early 1980s. Hurricane intensity and rainfall is projected to increase as the climate continues to warm.

Our friends at Save the Children recently interviewed families and young people who lived through Katrina. Take a few minutes and listen to their stories; these are stories of continued hope, sadness, reality and resiliency.

The benefits of transitioning away from fossil fuels (coal oil and gas) clearly outweigh the consequences of doing nothing on climate change. Katrina remains the costliest extreme weather event in American history. Climate impacts, fueled by an over reliance on fossil fuels could cost Americans between the tens of billions and two hundred billion dollars per year or as much as 3.6 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) before the end of the century. Meanwhile, an analysis conducted by the NewClimate Institute found that if the US set the country on a path towards a 100% renewable energy economy, it would secure around 650,000 new jobs by 2030, and prevent the deaths of around 27,000 lives per year.

Talk to the kids in your life. Here are three things you can do to commemorate the anniversary of Katrina and to take action on climate change.

water1. Support Gulf State Communities Water for Roots
Fourteen frontline/ fence line and/or environmental justice leaders and organizations,
from each of our 5 Gulf States, are participating. With your help, they will be able to continue their great work, which includes a citizen science air and water sampling project, media action and storytelling campaigns, preventative climate mitigation efforts, travel and housing to intersectional and movement building events, Katrina/Rita commemorations, residential solar leasing programs for the elderly, minority, and low income communities, and much more.
SavetheChilden-disaster_prep_infographic_6_10_012. Save the Children – Protect our Children when disasters strike. Are you prepared if disaster strikes? After Katrina, many children where separated from their parents. Save the Children wants parents and their children to be prepared should disaster strike again. Save the Children is imploring parents to make sure their children have an emergency contact card with not only information for local family, but also family who live out of town. This is critically important because during disasters local networks and telephones lines are usually down. Being able to call family who are not affected by a storm is important to connect children back to families. Make your emergency contact form for free at www.savethechildren.org/Connect.

3. Demand action on Climate Change. Join us throughout the month of September and in the lead up to the November Paris Climate Negotiations as we raise our voices and tell our leaders that we must have climate action now!

Grandparents Climate Action Day – September 9 & 10, Washington DC, join us.

Moral Action on Climate, September 21-25th, Washington DC and wherever you live, join us.

global womens day of justiceGlobal Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action, September 29th,wherever you live, join us.
And remember to add your name to the Climate Reality Project message to world leaders, demanding strong climate action in Paris and beyond; it only takes a second…


Climate Mama

P.S. As part of the Global Team of 200, we want to send a special shout out to Mom Bloggers for Social Good, with thanks for connecting us with Save the Children so we could share these critical resources. As well, sending our thanks to our friends at The Global Call for Climate Action.

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