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Letters to the Editor

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by

Amanda Kibbe

on 8 August 2013

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Transcript of Letters to the Editor

Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor
Influence your community and legislators.
About
B
C
Refer to a recent article.
Best bets: editorial, op-ed, or
front-page story.
Cite headline, date, author.
A
Brief
Short.
Common limits: 200-250 words.
Check your newspaper’s policy (letters page or website)
Concise
Get to the point fast.
Just one point, please.
Can the reader draw a clear conclusion?
1
2
3
Influence the newspaper --
even if not printed
LTE-writing basics:
A – B – C, 1 – 2 – 3
• As reported in the newspaper.

• As you understand it.
State the issue
Build your case
Your position/experience convey
authority.

Use your own voice.

Facts count. So do feelings.
Call to action
State what the reader can do.

Name any relevant legislator or corporation.

Follow up with your legislator or corporation.
Words to the Wise...
Time-sensitive --


submit by e-mail.
Local connections!
Full name
Medical credentials (MD, RN...)
Home address, e-mail address, phone #
Personal or financial interest
Subject to editing
Not more than once/60 days
Unique
Not submitted elsewhere
Include:
Now it’s your turn!
Remember:
A - About
B - Brief
C - Concise
1 State the issue
2 Build your case
3 Call to action
Go forth and write LTE’s!
The article “After the Devastation, a Daunting Recovery” by James Baron describes the chaos and devastation in New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Scientific consensus holds that hurricanes will become more frequent and more intense as air and sea level temperatures continue to rise. Areas like New York City are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters due to their dense population and close proximity to the Atlantic. For these reasons, hurricane mitigation should be high on New York's priority list in order to protect the safety of its people.

As a health professional, I cannot ignore the impacts that Hurricane Sandy has had on public health. In addition to the threat of drowning or injury from wind-blown debris that can occur during a hurricane, health risks in the aftermath of the storm must be considered as well. Healthcare infrastructure may be destroyed, like the electricity in New York City hospitals. Refills of medication prescriptions may be inaccessible. Flood waters carrying toxic chemicals or raw sewage can contaminate water supplies, increasing the risk of disease transmission. Flood waters often create mold, which can lead to allergic illness and respiratory infection. The mental health of hurricane survivors is also affected. Some suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, while others suffer from grief and anxiety.

Adequate preparation can reduce these impacts. For those living in New York City or along coastlines, hurricane preparation is critical for public health and survival. Mitigation is necessary too. Climate change is a problem too big for us to cure, so prevention is our only hope.
Sample Letter to the Editor
The article “After the Devastation, a Daunting Recovery” by James Baron describes the chaos and devastation in New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Scientific consensus holds that hurricanes will become more frequent and more intense as air and sea level temperatures continue to rise. Areas like New York City are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters due to their dense population and close proximity to the Atlantic. For these reasons, hurricane mitigation should be high on New York's priority list in order to protect the safety of its people.
Paragraph #1

As a health professional, one cannot ignore the impacts that an event like Hurricane Sandy has on public health. In addition to the threat of drowning or injury from wind-blown debris that can occur during a hurricane, the health risks that the affected regions must face in the aftermath must be considered as well. Flood waters carrying toxic chemicals can contaminate water supplies, resulting in an increased risk for the transmission of disease. Flood waters often create mold, which can lead to allergic illness and respiratory infection. The mental health of hurricane survivors is also affected. Some suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, while others suffer from grief and anxiety. Adequate preparation and mitigation can serve to reduce these impacts.
Paragraph #2

For those in New York City or residing along coastlines, hurricane preparation is critical for public health and survival. Have an evacuation plan and gather critical supplies well in advance of the storm’s arrival.
Paragraph #3
Why Write an LTE?
Full transcript