Hurricane Harvey Recovery

Although high water has yet to recede in parts of southeast Texas, many of us are eager to help our neighbors in crisis. While the need for volunteers is still in flux, we can still help support our communities right now as well as in the future. The road to recovery will be long and we will need to continue to come together and help each other for months and years to come. The following list is not exhaustive. If you feel something is missing, PLEASE reach out to americans.united.in.action@gmail.com

**DO NOT travel ANYWHERE if it is not safe to do so**

It is important to let trained first responders do their jobs effectively and not put others or yourself at risk. Only provide assistance if specifically asked to do so. Many of the impacted areas are not conducive to volunteer activation yet. 

Donations:

  • DONATE MONEY: Rescue and relief organizations need money to deploy services and buy supplies on the ground where they are needed.
    • Find an organization you trust and support them financially
    • Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods. The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.
    • If you are OUTSIDE THE IMMEDIATE AREA this is the BEST thing you can do RIGHT NOW. Sending supplies at this time is NOT effective.
  • DONATE BLOOD or PLASMA: The area is experiencing reduced supply and increased demand due to injuries on top of regular need blood or plasma transfusions.
  • DONATE GOODS: Many shelters need food as well as clothing and bedding
    • Call shelters to confirm needed goods
      • Donating unneeded items takes away valuable resources away from real needs
      • Many shelters need hygiene items like diapers, feminine sanitary items, and toiletries, rather than clothes at this point
    • If you cannot travel take the time to sort your belongings to find appropriate items to donate so they can be immediately put to use when you are able to deliver them
      • Shelters and relief organizations will continue to need donations once the immediate interest in donations dwindles

Volunteering:

  • Follow and check local city government social media to find immediate needs to help first responders including shelters and rescue efforts
    • Do NOT just show up without being asked to help. This can put you and rescuers at risk; you do no good if you get stranded or hurt yourself.
  • Check on your neighbors’ needs. Here are a few things you can offer
    • Clean-up: yards and homes
      • Pictures and documentation of damage for insurance
        • Be sure to do this before starting clean up
      • Clearing debris and downed trees
        • Make sure to check with the city to learn where debris should be placed
        • Get everything wet out
        • Pull wet carpets
        • Remove soaked dry wall
        • Get fans going to start drying wet floors
    • Household chores
      • Laundry!
      • Cooking or food delivery
      • Errands for food or supplies
    • Childcare for parents
    • Pet care
  • You can find local families in need of mucking our here
  • Red Cross
    • Currently operating a shelter at the George R. Brown Conference Center and the Toyota Center
      • Register as a volunteer
      • NIGHT SHIFTS needed at GRB
      • Day shifts are full for the next few weeks at GRB
      • Be aware that due to overwhelming interest, the site is currently experiencing slow speeds. Please be patient.
  • BakerRipley
    • BakerRipley has an important role in disasters. We are responsible for assistance with long term recovery. Working in collaboration with other agencies, we pick up after the initial emergency responders and work on helping people restart their lives.
    • Currently seeking volunteers for the shelter set up at NRG Stadium in Houston
      • Sign up HERE for a shift and then head to NRG to check in
        • Asking people commit to at least 6-8 hour shifts
        • Bring VALID photo ID
        • Enter through the north stadium entrance off Old Spanish Trail and park in the Red Lot
    • Check their facebook page for more information
    • Sign up for volunteer alerts
  • Volunteer Houston
  • National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD)
    • An association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster.
    • Register with VOAD to be connected to local responding organizations as the situation becomes safe for volunteers
  • Houston Food Bank
    • The Houston Food Bank has a strong track record of supporting the community during floods, hurricanes and other emergencies, and we want you to know that we are committed to providing food, water and other help to the people who need it most. When it is safe to travel to our Portwall location, we will need volunteers and donations.
    • Register as a volunteer
    • Text DisasterVol to 51555 to be alerted when they are ready for volunteers

A few good articles about helping:

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