HOW CAN I HELP? HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF

Over the weekend, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast along Texas. The storm rapidly made it's way inland towards Houston and they are not quite out of the woods quite yet. In the past 4 days, Harvey's rainfall has totaled around 49 inches or (11 trillion gallons), breaking a Lower 48 record by any tropical cyclone. With heavy rainfall comes catastrophic flooding and thousands of people could still be trapped. Residents were advised to seek refuge on their rooftops as rain still continues to fall. Helicopters are flying overheard, while those with boats and jet skis also try to aid rescue efforts. With the overwhelming amount of emergency calls, many people have turned to social media to plead for help. 

**If you need to be rescued download the Zello walkie talkie app and join the Cajun Navy or Texas Navy channels. You can communicate directly with volunteer rescue groups.** 

My in-laws are Houston residents and have been keeping us up to date with information. While they are lucky to not be underwater, there are no open supermarkets, gas stations, and power is running thin. I wish there was something I could do from 1300 miles away! 

Here are a few ways we can all help !! 

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*CASH IS KING

Monetary donations are the best way to support hurricane relief. At the moment, in-kind donations are not helpful. There is barely enough shelter for those in need, there is no way there is room for tangible items.

Be aware of the fact that you might be charged a credit card processing fee when donating online, it is usually around 3%. 

*BEWARE OF HURRICANE RELIEF SCAMS !!

Donate to legitimate charities that you are familiar with. Be weary of domains that have been newly registered. 

CHARITY NAVIGATOR

Charity Navigator is a great watchdog organization that evaluates other charitable organizations. Check here before donating to a worthy cause. 

The FTC also has some helpful tips. 

YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH ORGANIZATIONS LIKE...

UNITED WAY RELIEF FUND

Their first priority is safety, shelter, and basic needs. They are not accepting clothing or food donations, but volunteers are always needed.

GLOBAL GIVING

They have raised over $800K of their $2 million goal! These funds will aid in emergency supplies and long-term recovery assistance. 

GREATER HOUSTON COMMUNITY FUND 

The Mayor of Houston established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through this organization. The organization is closed due to the inclement weather but is still accepting flood relief donations. 

HOUSTON FOOD BANK

The facilities are closed and inaccessible, due to flooding. They will be able to provide relief as soon as they can open their doors. With tens of thousands families displaced and closed supermarkets, monetary donations will go a long way. This might not be the right time to clean your pantry of canned goods.

AUSTIN PETS ALIVE

This Austin-based organization is helping evacuate pets who have been displaced from Hurricane Harvey. I heard horrible stories about pets who were left at their homes to drown. They have rescued over 300 pets so far and when the roads in Houston begin to clear up, they presume they will rescue even more. Donate to support our furry friends! Consider becoming a long-term foster so that other pets can be rescued too !!

PORTLIGHT

Individuals with disabilities are often the most vulnerable in times of disaster. Most people cannot physically evacuate or transport their medical equipment. This organization provides inclusive disaster relief for those in need !!  

Did I miss an organization that is legit and supporting disaster relief? Let me know! 

It is our Judy duty to give back to those in need! Do your part!!!