How You Can Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey made landfall around 9:45 P.M. on Friday and the United States hasn't seen a storm like this since Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008. Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012 but that was a category 1 storm compared to Harvey's rating of category 4 when it hit Corpus Christi and category 3 when it hit Copano Bay. The number of affected people is in the millions due to its proximity to major cities like Houston, Austin and San Antonio. It is always hard for forecasters to predict just how bad a storm will be because there are so many factors that can change the intensity, path and lifespan of a storm.
What sets Harvey apart from recent storms is the amount of rainfall that has already accumulated and is expected to continue. Some areas may see more than 50 inches of rain before the storm ends. The National Weather Service tweeted “This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced.”
Anytime there is a disaster like this, we wonder what it’s like to be one of the many people affected. We don’t have many storms in Idaho, certainly nothing like this, so it can be hard to comprehend just how devastating an event like this can be for those in the path of the storm. It also makes it easier to have the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mindset that leaves those affected completely on their own once the storm ends, dealing with the overwhelming and shocking damages without help.
Some of us may have family or friends near the affected areas, if so we hope you’ve been able to establish contact with them to make sure they’re safe. If not, you can check the Facebook Safety Check to see if they have marked themselves as safe or not. In an age when technology is as common and advanced as it’s become, it’s nice to see it being used in times of need to help people.
Even though you may not be close enough to go lend a hand, there are plenty of ways to help victims of the storm. There are so many great organizations that are there to help both during the storm, by contributing to search and rescue, assisting with evacuation and providing shelter, and once the storm has died off by helping people and communities recover and rebuild. Some people lose everything, their homes, their businesses, their cars and even their loved ones so it can be a long and dim road to recovery.
Some of the better known organizations are The Red Cross, United Way and the Salvation Army. Each of these charities has set up a donation page on their website specifically for victims of Hurricane Harvey that you can find by clicking on the links below. These organizations are usually the first on the scene and receive more donations but there are plenty of other ways to help if you prefer donating to local charities.
Food Banks are a great place to donate, most cities in the U.S. have at least one and they provide much needed assistance when it is needed most. The Houston Food Bank, Galveston County Food Bank and Corpus Christi Food Bank all accept online donations, their links can be found below.
The Coastal Bend Recovery Group exists to strengthen regional long term recovery by addressing unmet disaster related needs of individuals in the communities in federally declared disasters. Recovery from a disaster like this will certainly take many years, it took over 10 years for most people to feel that they had recovered from Hurricane Katrina and many say the recovery efforts are still ongoing to this day.
During disasters there are certain groups of people that are often either hit harder or have a harder time recovering than others. These people include children, people with disabilities and the homeless. This is why the Texas Diaper Bank, who work with children, Portlight, who work with those with disabilities, and the Coalition for the Homeless step up their efforts in times like this. For more information on how these organizations help you can click the links below.
This is one of the many reasons why we at HD Insurance love working with nonprofits. Almost all the charitable organizations that are helping the victims of this devastating storm are nonprofit companies. They do not hesitate to help however they can in times like this and work tirelessly to make sure those that need help, get help. Some people see disasters as an opportunity to make money from some of the things that are in high demand during disasters, fresh water, food, clothing, and shelter, but the organizations we admire and respect only have one motive, helping people in need get back on their feet and get on with their lives.
If you or a loved one have been affected by Hurricane Harvey, we wish you a speedy recovery and hope you get the help you need. Below is a list of organizations that you can research and donate to if you would like to help. There is also a link that will help you with that research so you can be sure your donation will be in good hands.
Use the Charity Navigator to do research and make sure you're donating to an organization you believe in.