Braden Power

Houston and much of Southeast Texas was severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey this past week, and the storm is expected to last another couple days, causing concern for citizens still residing in the area and those responding to the scene. While many have been evacuated, the number of those expected to lose their homes is astounding.

Over 50 inches of rain could accumulate in this area of Texas over the next few days. This could prove tragic for the city’s water pumps, which have seen a significant amount of rain already. Houston has a number of flood insurance policies throughout the city, but not every resident has invested in them, as these can be fairly expensive. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to lose their homes, or undergo serious damage, which they will not be able to afford to repair. With that said, there are a number of ways you can help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) is currently putting together teams of volunteers and donations to combat the effects of this storm. By visiting their newly established page devoted to Hurricane Harvey relief, you can find several organizations that are currently accepting donations, as well as the forms you need to complete if you wish to volunteer.

The Greater Houston Community Foundation and Mayor Sylvester Turner have established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which accepts tax deductible flood relief donations for those affected by the storm. This is a great outlet for those who would rather not pay in cash, as they accept checks, wire transfers, and even corporate bonds.

As they’ve done in the past, the American Red Cross and Salvation Army have both established hotlines and donation platforms for Hurricane Harvey victims, which provide more than just financial help. Both programs are administering emotional support for survivors and volunteers, and plan to remain within the affected areas long after the storm has passed to ensure long-term recovery.

When all’s said and done, the victims of Hurricane Harvey will hopefully receive enough financial and emotional support from all over the world to land on their feet. After which everyone should understand how to adequately prepare for hurricanes in the future.

When evacuation is suggested, it’s an aspect of preparedness that should not be taken lightly. Storm surges following an extreme amount of rainfall can destroy neighborhoods in mere hours. Local governments will provide evacuation steps and safe houses in the of these, and following accordingly is crucial. A good way to prepare for this situation is practicing navigating the evacuation route before an evacuation is declared.

Always buy enough supplies to keep yourself protected and healthy should you be forced to evacuate or simply lose power. Among hurricane kit essentials are first aid kits, batteries, maps, flashlights, and a whistle to call for help. Additionally, purchase bottles of water and foods with adequate shelf life (i.e. rice, canned foods, etc.). The more supplies you have in the event of a hurricane or other type of natural disaster, the more prepared you will be.