Heart Warming Stories During Hurricane Harvey & How You Can Help
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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Despite the horrendous disaster Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey had descended upon Texas, it was not able to squash the human and animal spirit of Texas.
A German Shepherd mix dog, Otis, that accidentally got loose from a screened-in back porch in Sinton,Texas, Friday night during Hurricane Harvey. Otis belongs to 5-year-old Carter. Right before Carter’s departure from Sinton area, he asked his 65 year old grandpa Salvador Segovia to help take care of Otis. When Segovia went to check on Otis Friday night, Otis was gone. Apparently Otis sensed that something was not right and decided to take care of himself by bringing his own bag of dog food and joining the evacuating traffic. Thanks to social media, the photo of Otis with his bag of dog food circulated through social media and reunited Otis with Carter.
At this point, we need to give a great big thanks to Social Media, without which many Texans would not have been able to connect with those volunteers who were able to bring them to safety. More then three thousand Texans were able to be brought to safety through the help of many volunteers (such as the Cajun Navy from Louisiana), coast guards, urban search and rescue, and others coming from all over the country.
Despite the canceled flights or closed schools due to the rain, wind, storm, and flood, the arrival of the youngest resident of Texas could not be stopped. Two men responded to the desperate Tweet of a man whose wife was in labor but the couple couldn’t get out of their home. These two men helped the couple out of their home, first toward Texas Children’s Hospital in their truck. But as their truck started stalling, they took the couple to a nearby Marriott, then with the help of a huge city dump truck, they were able to transport the pregnant Irma Rodriguez to Corpus Christi Medical Center to deliver her healthy, seven-pound, 18 1/4 inch long baby, who is now named Harvey. As Baby Harvey made his debut, Hurricane Harvey had left more than 210,000 homes in the area without power during the worst of its Saturday, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Roads were flooded, emergency services were delayed, a courthouse and a public school were damaged.
If you would like to help in person and have a boat or a safe high-water vehicle, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office wants your help. The office put out a call on Twitter for residents to help with rescues. Call 713-881-3100 to help.
If you are a victim of Hurricane Harvey:
- If you’re considering evacuating your home, the Houston Chronicle is compiling a map of flooded streets.
- If you’re in Harris County, call 713-426-9404 with questions about shelters; call 713-881-3100 for rescue efforts.
- Several counties have issued mandatory or voluntary evacuations over the past few days. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is keeping a list of those counties on his website. The direcotr of the federal Hurricane Harvey relief efforts has warned people in flooded regions not to get into their cars, which may potentially put more lives at risk and drain resources that could be used to rescue citizens elsewhere.
- The Red Cross is encouraging people to list themselves and their families as safe by clicking here. You can also receive disaster assistance from the Red Cross by calling 877-500-8645, or find a list of open shelters by clicking HERE.
- Call the United Way Helpline at 211 for information on shelters and other assistance.
- Texas State Park camping is free to hurricane evacuees.
- If in need of talking to professional about emotional stress, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or texting “TalkWithUs” to 66746.
- For Harris County, call 713-308-8580 to locate your towed car.
- Grocery store HEB has emergency measures in place, including a mobile kitchen serving meals in Victoria today.
- Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas announced Monday that the city will start receiving people from the flooded region. Dallas will also open three emergency evacuation shelters at Samuell Grand Recreation Center, Walnut Hill Recreation Center and Tommie Allen Recreation Center.
- In San Antonio, both San Antonio Shelter Hub and San Antonio’s American Red Cross Shelter are hosting those who have evacuated from the floods.
- In Austin, the Austin Disaster Relief Network activated a call center to provide resources and information to families impacted by the storm via hotline: 512-806-0800.
- If your home damaged by the foods or storm, you can register your damage with FEMA via 1-800-621-3362. and file a personal claim with the Texas Department of Insurance’s consumer hotline at 1-800-252-3439.
There is much needing to be done in Texas, if you would like to help but cannot get to Texas, there are many ways you may help, below:
- Food banks are asking for nonperishable staples like canned meat and dry goods as well as cleaning supplies. These food banks all accept online donations: Houston Food Bank, Galveston County Food Bank, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and Corpus Christi Food Bank. More food banks may be found in this list from Houston Press. You may also donate to Feeding Texas.
- You can open your home to disaster victims through Airbnb.
- Make cash or diaper donation to the Texas Diaper Bank, providing emergency diaper kits to displaced families.
- Multiple local and national organizations are collecting donations for general disaster relief efforts, including: Red Cross, United Way, Salvation Army, Save the Children, Global Giving, Heart to Heart and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
- Gofundme created a list of Harvey Relief Efforts, with fundraisers for different individual cities, families and homes.
- Individuals and corporations can donate to hurricane relief efforts through the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
- You may help Hurricane Harvey victims by texting HARVEY to 90999 to give $10 to the Red Cross or by visiting RedCross.org to give any amount.
Several hospitals are experiencing blood shortages and are seeking blood donations. O negative and O positive donations are especially helpful. People of all blood types are encouraged to donate blood.
- Carter Blood Care is sending donations to Southeast Texas. Click HERE to see where you can donate blood. You can also donate blood through the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. For more detailed information, please call 210-731-5590.
- If you live outside of Texas and would like to help, you can donate blood through the Red Cross.
Several Groups are in need of volunteers to help with recovery efforts, below:
- Volunteers can sign up for trips to the affected area through organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group, and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
- Volunteer Houston has launched a virtual Volunteer Reception Center to aid nonprofit agencies in flood relief efforts. Click HERE for more information.
- Remote Area Medical is seeking medical personnel as well as general support and supplies to help with rescue efforts. Please contact RAM at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-579-1530.
- The State Bar of Texas has a legal hotline to help people (esp. low-income Texans) with issues such as replacing lost documents and answering insurance questions. They also started a disaster relief volunteer form, which attorneys licensed in Texas can fill out HERE.
***Please feel free to check with Charity Navigator before deciding which organization to donate to.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
~Let’s Help One Another~
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