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Disaster Prep and First Response

7 Ways to Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 storm between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, Texas, on August. 25. Twenty-seven trillion gallons of rain were dumped on Texas and Louisiana in a matter of six days, and at least 39 people have died.

You may be thinking about donating money, food, clothing or other items to the storm’s survivors, but don’t know where to start. Here’s how you can help Texas residents affected by Harvey: 

1. Blood

The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center needs more than 2,000 units of blood, primarily O positive and O negative. Even if you’re not a Texas resident, you can find local blood drives online on the Red Cross website.

2. Pets

Donate to American Humane, an organization that has deployed rescue trucks staffed with volunteers and veterinarians. Since Harvey, the company has distributed over 100,000 pounds of pet food and continues to assist with shelter operations in Houston.

3. Food

Many experts recommend donating money instead of food, as it allows food banks to use your donation most effectively. Consider contributing to Feeding Texas, a statewide non-profit that coordinates with the state and other providers so relief reaches families without delay and the second disaster of an unorganized response is avoided.

4. Housing

It’s been estimated that more than 30,000 Texans will seek temporary shelter in the wake of Harvey. Airbnb has set up an urgent accommodations site where families can open their homes to evacuees from the storm or find shelter themselves.

5. Seniors

The AARP Foundation has created a relief fund for Harvey victims and plans to match contributions up to $1.5 million dollars.

6. Children

There are more than 215,000 students in Houston that are still missing school due to canceled classes. The Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio is working to meet the basic needs of babies, children and their families.

7. Health

Direct Relief is providing funding and emergency health kits to community health centers in Texas. The kits include insulin, asthma inhalers and anti-hypertensive medication.

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