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Survivors of extreme weather events speak out as financial struggles linger: 'I'm not a fearful person, but I'm really fearful for my children'

"This is just going to keep happening."

"This is just going to keep happening."

Photo Credit: iStock

Amid worsening extreme weather and disasters caused by the Earth's rising temperature, a group called Extreme Weather Survivors has sprung up to tackle the problem head-on.

The natural disasters arising from global heating include everything from hurricanes to wildfires. All of those events have the potential to drive people out of their homes, destroy livelihoods, and, in the worst cases, kill.

"I'm not a fearful person, but I'm really fearful for my children," said one EWS member, echoing the concerns of many.

Those who have felt the impact of a disaster have faced enormous losses, but many have found something else as well: the determination to move forward.

EWS describes itself as "a nationwide community" made up of people from all walks of life and says: "We provide support, learn from one another, and do everything we can to stop these disasters from devastating more and more families." 

Its website is full of invitations to join the group in building community, providing and receiving training, and advocating for change.

"We saw a lot of disasters last year," said an EWS member. "Between the fires, the floods, the hurricanes, and tornados, this is just going to keep happening."

Experts predict more disasters than ever as the Earth enters what is expected to be the hottest five-year period on record. The warmer the Earth gets, the greater the difference between the dry parts of the planet, which may experience megadroughts, and the wet parts, which face flooding and storms.

But EWS sees a way through. "Wouldn't it be amazing if this state became more of a model about how we were going to tackle climate change?" asked another EWS member. "I think the big oil companies that had record-numbers sales, yeah, I feel like they should have to pay money to take care of what's happened from these major disasters, and also help us fund plans for the future."

EWS is not the first group to lay the responsibility for heat-trapping air pollution at oil companies' feet. One meteorologist proposed naming heat waves after oil companies, the same way that we name hurricanes.

"Make polluters pay," says EWS. "Later is too late."

Until that happens, individual consumers can hold corporations accountable by shopping for greener brands.

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