Hurricane Harvey – Information & Ways To Help
Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Gulf Coast of Texas on Friday night, August 25, 2017 as a Category 4 storm near Corpus Christi, and moved northeast along the Texas coast over Houston. Harvey is still a major threat to life and property and will continue to be into the coming week, according to weather forecasts.
Hurricane Harvey is causing major flooding in Houston and along the Texas coast with flash flood danger for most of the central and southeastern portions of Texas. Rain will continue falling across large sections of the state well into next week.
As Hurricane Harvey continues hovering over the state, the Texas Health and Human Services system has plans in place to help Texans. Visit this link for more detailed information.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Individuals, regardless of where they reside, can help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Listed below are resources to connect with in order to make a financial donation, donate blood, or volunteer.
Make a Donation
- American Red Cross: The American Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. After a disaster, financial donations are the quickest and best way to get help to the people who need it most. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. Click here for more information.
- Salvation Army: The Salvation Army is providing food, hydration, shelter and clothing to victims and first responders. To make a donation to support their efforts, go to http://www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800- SAL-ARMY, or text STORM to 51555.
- United Way Disaster Relief Funds: Texas United Ways affected by Hurricane Harvey have established disaster relief funds. Donations made to these funds will support community nonprofits and disaster service organizations critical to both the immediate response and long-term recovery. Go to https://www.uwtexas.org/hurricane-harvey for a list of the local United Way disaster funds.
- Feeding Texas: Feeding Texas is a statewide network of food banks. Donations made at https://www.feedingtexas.org/will support local food banks helping to feed families in affected areas.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): The ASPCA’s disaster response team is on the ground with search-and-rescue, sheltering and relocation teams ready to assist displaced animals in this historic weather event affecting Texas and Louisiana. Donations can be made by contacting ASPCA at 1-800-628-0028 or by visiting their website: https://www.aspca.org/news/aspca-prepares-harvey-rescue-efforts
- Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): The HSUS Animal Rescue Team is deployed in Texas, where they are working with local officials to transport, rescue and care for animals. Donations can be made by visiting their website:
- United Way Worldwide is launching a national United Way Harvey Relief Fund, visit their website www.unitedway.org/harvey. Here are a few quick facts about the Fund: This is a response to individual and corporate donors who are looking for one, simplified place to give and impact the entire affected area. 100% of all money raised will be distributed to the affected United Ways. No individual donations will go toward administration and overhead at UWW. They are working with affected United Ways on distributing funds in an equitable manner. They are still actively promoting local funds. This is not meant to take away from those funds, but rather to complement local efforts.
Important information about charitable giving: The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) recently released tips for avoiding phishing scams from individuals attempting to pose as legitimate charity organizations. Click here for more information. The Better Business Bureau of Central New England offers tips to donors on avoiding scammers and donating money to legitimate disaster relief organizations. Click here for more information.
- The Department of Health and Human Services is urging Americans to donate blood to compensate for canceled blood drives in Texas. Go to http://www.redcrossblood.org/ to find a local blood drive.
- If you wish to volunteer in response to Hurricane Harvey, please visit this link to find National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) members taking volunteers. Many of the organizations prefer or require affiliated volunteers, rather than unaffiliated volunteers. Visit https://www.nvoad.org/ to register as a volunteer.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & RESOURCES
Health and Human Services – HHS: https://www.hhs.gov/
American Red Cross – Contacting Loved Ones: The American Red Cross offers assistance and tips for contacting loved ones in areas of the United States affected by disasters. Click here for more information.
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH): The Disaster Distress Helpline 800-985-5990 provides immediate crisis counseling and help to individuals nationwide who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of a natural or man-made disaster, or incidents of mass violence. The Helpline is available 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. The Helpline connects callers to professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. The Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals and other needed support services. Individuals can call or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746.
For information on local efforts visit the Texas 2-1-1 website http://www.211texas.org/ or dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in Texas. For individuals outside of Texas, dial 877-541-7905.
Information and a financial toolkit by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to assist individuals after a hurricane can be accessed here: CFPB Financial Toolkit
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SOURCES: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and American Red Cross, Texas Health and Human Services., Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
PREPARED BY: 211/mm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: August 2017