Dear Future President,
Though I am from an area that very rarely is affected by natural disasters, I still know the hardship of people who do become victims to this ever growing problem. I watch with sorrow as different parts of the world get hit by hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and more and my heart goes out to the families of those people killed by nature’s wrath. When I see the destruction that has traumatized both the land and the people that once inhabited it, it often brings me to the brink of tears. Then, when I hear about people still waiting on help years after the initial disaster starts, it breaks my heart even further. These are innocent people who did not deserve to be battered by nature, and then to think that they can’t even get assistance is downright sickening. I find it even more disheartening that many people think that the government already spends too much helping victims. The lack of natural disaster help highlights how nations can just sit around while their people are suffering, making us doubt both our leaders, and one another.
First of all, you’re probably wondering why this issue means so much to me. I am from a half-Filipino family, therefore I have family in the Philippines. When hurricanes and typhoons strike, I instantly worry for my family. It is sometimes at least a week before my mother is able to contact them from here in America. Though Davao City is typically sheltered from the worst of the weather, after-effects such as torrential rain, wind and flooding definitely still takes its toll on the area. My family there is already poor, so when the aftermaths of the storms comes through, any damage is a huge loss. Plus, some people that my mother knows have died because of natural disasters while many others have their homes destroyed and are unable to regain a permanent home. I know how much it would hurt me to have such bad fortune hit my family, and that is a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Then, when the earthquake hit Italy this year, it caught my attention quickly. Through all of my travels, Italy was one of my favorite. Even though I don’t remember much, since I was very young, I do remember that Italy is a very beautiful country. Anything that destroys such perfection in my opinion is absolutely despicable. Once it’s gone, there is no way to get it back. That goes for life as well.
Once the catastrophe already hits, sometimes the only thing left is the annihilation. Since 1995, over 600,000 people have been killed by natural calamities and over 4.1 billion injured. Another 22 million are displaced each year. These are precious human lives that are being stripped away from this earth. These are people’s parents, children, husbands, wives, friends, family and much more. But somehow, the amount of help these victims receive is minimal. For example, a decade after Hurricane Katrina, there are still numerous people who are unable to return home. In fact, people who need the assistance the most are often the people who have the most trouble getting aid and they are often the most vulnerable to the attack of nature’s wrath. For example, a country such as Honduras with a $2,000 per capita average GPD typically plan for five times as many deaths as a country like Russia. Also, tenants are greatly affected by these debacles. Since they are typically poorer and they don’t own their own property, they are more likely to not be able to afford the ridiculously high prices of starting over. Plus, there is typically a lack of reasonably priced rental housing in the city, so any tenant that was removed from their home would have an even more burdensome time finding a place if or when they are able to return. These people just went through a traumatizing crisis yet they are still expected to handle majority of the repair fees by themselves. How can the government do this to people?
Now although some people say that we already do too much to help these people, and it is true that billions of dollars are going towards repair costs, it still isn't enough. If it was, there wouldn't still be people waiting for assistance years after a disaster. There are many solutions I would suggest so that there weren't so many lives being ruined by catastrophe. First of all, these natural disasters might be more manmade than we think. The rising sea levels is caused by global warming, so if we fix that, the rapid rising will slow. Now I could elaborate on how to help climate change, but that is a whole other letter. It still would be a step we could take. Even if this didn’t stop the problem altogether, it would give citizens more time to prepare and evacuate before conditions got too serious. For those times when there is nothing humanly possible for us to do to prevent a natural catastrophe, there are some things we need to do. Governments around the world should start by increasing the budget for victim support, especially for people who suffer from poverty or are unable to pay the cost of starting from scratch. This should help people get into permanent homes quicker, in a matter of years not decades. In order to reduce the costs of building, so nations don’t go too far into debt, using local labor and materials would be a smart decision. Also, building temporary housing to last for more than a couple of years will prevent having to rebuild structures, which would cut that cost out altogether. Although some say people should just prepare more, it is nearly impossible to get an exact prediction of the damage that is to come. Yes, moving away from coastal cities would help, but why are people going to want to move from a city where trillions of dollars have already been spent in infrastructure to an area with little to nothing? Plus, many people make a living off of the water.This is why we should just increase the aid once the disaster hits. It will make the transition period easier and highlight the unity between victim and hero.
Now, Future President, the fate of people is in your hands. There is not enough natural disaster help and this is beginning to show people how the government feels about protecting its citizens. Even if you are far away from the tragedy, are you going to stand by and listen to the mourning cry of innocent victims? Or will you do your part and lend a hand? Will you help out your allies when their citizens hit hard times? Keep in mind, these are your people. We look to you for help when times are dark and if you don't help us, these tragedies will be even more bleak. People will give up on hope and we will be left searching for a leader with a strategic head but a compassionate heart. If you do more to increase the assistance to victims of natural disaster, I promise you, the world will be an improved place, and we will all thank you.