Thursday, July 18, 2013

Calling FEMA Into Action

Wednesday marked the three-month anniversary of the tragic explosion at the fertilizer plant in the city of West. Several emergency responders were killed and a large section of the town was destroyed. This small-knit community was left with shock and grief—mourning those who were lost and looking for a way to rebuild. Last month, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rejected West’s request for a major disaster declaration and much-needed assistance, I was disappointed to say the least. 

I am grateful that Governor Perry took action to appeal FEMA’s decision. Governor Perry called FEMA’s decision to deny further aid to West “simply unacceptable,” and I couldn’t agree more.

The West explosion inflicted severe damage to the city infrastructure, schools and residences. Any normal person would see the damage as nothing short of a disaster. We need a strong combination of local, state and federal assistance to help facilitate a full recovery.

President Obama said himself, “We’ll be there even after the cameras leave and after the attention turns elsewhere.” I urge FEMA and President Obama to hold true to his word and to his responsibility. He must act on Governor Perry’s appeal and deliver the aid necessary to rebuild West in the wake of this terrible disaster. Doing so will ensure that this Texas town can come back stronger than ever.

Click here to read a copy of my letter to FEMA. 

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