Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast around 9:45pm Friday, August 25 as a category 4 hurricane. And it continues to hover over the eastern part of our state causing unprecedented rainfall and flooding in Houston and several coastal communities. We can’t turn on a news outlet without being struck by images of devastation and disaster as citizens in these communities struggle to survive.
As rescue efforts continue to happen in the southeastern part of Texas, and the threat of more rain lingers in the forecast, we all wonder how we can help and give to the communities impacted. Below are quick tips to consider in this time of crisis:
- Don’t be so overwhelmed by the amount of organizations asking for help that you don’t give. All donations in a time of crisis are impactful and greatly needed.
- Give to an established charity. Find a charity with a proven track record of success with dealing with the type of disaster and in the region in which the disaster occurred. Avoid organizations created specifically to deal with the new crisis.
- Do some homework before you give. Be aware that while the majority of people are working to help this region and its damaged communities, scammers do follow headlines. Use resources like Charity Navigator and Guidestar to research organizations prior to making a donation.
- Don’t immediately start collecting supplies to donate. It’s human nature to watch people in need of water and food and clean, dry clothes and want to gather those supplies to donate. Research what local organizations are asking for and respond to their specific needs.
- Use local media sites and resources to find ways to support that community. Here’s an interactive map that shows different shelters, pet shelters, and food distribution centers around Texas. The Houston Chronicle has live Hurricane Harvey updates here that may pertain to residents still in the city or evacuees. And NPR has collected and published a helpful list of needs and organizations specific to Hurricane Harvey.
The most important thing to remember when a crisis of this magnitude happens is to continue to support the communities that will continue to be impacted. Once the rain stops and the water recedes, the rebuilding begins. Consider making monthly gifts for the next year to support these efforts and check frequently with relief organizations as the specific donation need changes over time.
As a Texas company, this crisis hit close to our home. Our heart goes out to all affected by this devastation. Thank you to everyone who is doing their part to help a community very much in need.