Texas National Guard Soldiers arrive in Houston to help victims of Harvey. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
The images from Hurricane Harvey’s devastation are hard to look at. And it’s even worse, if you’re seeing it outside your own window. Torrential rains have caused catastrophic flooding along the Texas coast, throughout the Houston metropolitan area and beyond.
The life-threatening conditions worsened over the weekend. Governor Greg Abbott said Sunday that more than 3,000 national and state guard troops had been deployed to help affected areas already, and an additional 1,000 troops are heading to Houston today.
As the disastrous storm persists, relief efforts need more help than ever. Here are some ways you can do your part to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and affected areas recover.
1). Donate to Aid Organizations
Donating money to reputable charitable organizations experienced in disaster relief is one of the most effective ways to help fellow Texans affected by the storm. As Katrina Farmer, a director of American Red Cross offices across Texas, tells USA Today, “This is going to be an expensive disaster.”
- The Red Cross has thousands of volunteers from across the country working in affected areas, and has opened three shelters in Dallas for evacuees. You can donate to the organization online, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- All Hands is a reputable nonprofit with 4/4 stars on Charity Navigator. All Hands Volunteers’ Response team is working with emergency management officials to provide aid in the areas that need it most. Visit their website to make a donation.
- Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Donate to victims of the flood here.
- Donate to The Salvation Army’s immediate and long term Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts here.
- Charity Navigator-recommended Global Giving started a charity crowdfunding site with a $2 million goal. All funds raised will go exclusively towards local organizations providing relief and recovery. Donate here.
2. Donate to Food Banks
Food banks across Texas are gearing up to help those affected by the storm. Visit the websites of food banks in Houston, Corpus Christi, Galveston, North Texas and San Antonio to make donations. Feeding Texas, formerly known as Texas Food Bank Network, is a statewide organization that steps in to help when individual banks are overwhelmed.
3. Help Pets Affected by the Storm
Hundreds of cats and dogs have arrived in North Texas to seek refuge from the storm. The SPCA of Texas is accepting donations to help keep our furry friends safe and happy. Drop off supplies at your local SPCA location, or donate money online.
4. Get Involved
As part of Airbnb’s Disaster Response Program, Airbnb host across Texas can help by offering housing to displaced victims of the storm and relief workers. The hosts are still covered by the website’s Host Guarantee, and Airbnb’s fees are waived. Learn more here.