Hurricane Harvey is an unprecedented storm, and thousands of Texans are still in danger as their city drastically floods. They need our help desperately — here’s how you can do your part.
Gulf Coast Texas is being ravaged by category four Hurricane Harvey, and the worst is still yet to come for the Lone Star State. Some areas have been hit with a staggering 20 inches of rain, and over the next few days, some areas could see up to 50 inches. It’s an unprecedented storm according to meteorologists, and it’s not letting up. Citizens of Houston and the surrounding region are in dire need of help as they’re forced out of their homes due to massive flooding, some trapped and in danger of dying by the rising flood waters — water is 17 feet deep! An estimated 30,000 people are expected to seek refuge in shelters as the storm continues. They need our help, and they need it fast. What can we, as ordinary citizens, do to help? There’s a few easy ways to make a difference:
Send a text to the Red Cross or United Way
Emergency responders are low on funding, and need more money to continue their rescue missions and victim aid. Donating to help Hurricane Harvey victims is as easy as sending a text. You can text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or call the Red Cross at 1- 800-RED CROSS. You can also visit their website, redcross.org.
United Way has set up channels to donate, as well — text Text UWFLOOD to 41444 to donate to the United Way Flood Relief Fund. Before you donate, check to make sure the foundations you want to give your money to are reputable (these two are). The Center for International Disaster Information recommends visiting sites like GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or the Better Business Bureau to determine if charities are legitimate before donating.
Donate money, not supplies
While donating supplies to hurricane victims is appreciated, it’s better to give victims money, according to the Center for International Disaster Information. It’s more flexible, and charities don’t have to deal with storing and organizing mismatched supplies. “Unlike material donations, cash involves no transportation costs, shipping delays, or customs fees. It also enables relief organizations to spend more time providing aid by spending less time managing goods,” the CIDI said on its website.
Volunteer at Shelters
The Red Cross announced on August 25 that it would be training volunteers at shelters through a fast-track course. An estimated 30,000 people are expected to evacuate and head to shelters over the next week as the storm progresses and rescue efforts continue. The Salvation Army is also asking for volunteers at their shelters. Contact locally based organizations to see what they need help with. If you’re not in the Houston area, there will still be volunteer opportunities.
Blood banks near Houston are pleading with those fit and of age to donate blood for trauma victims rescued from the flooding. Not everyone is able to donate blood, so don’t feel bad if you can’t. Blood banks in New Orleans are helping out as well, remembering when Houston residents sent them blood during Hurricane Katrina.
Volunteer to house evacuees
Do you use AirBnB? Contact the company and tell them you’re willing to house evacuees from Hurricane Harvey for free at your home! AirBnB has a running list going of homes that are allowing evacuees, and the list is growing by the day. It’s also waiving all service fees.
HollywoodLifers, our thoughts are with all those in Houston being affected by Hurricane Harvey.