Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf hard this weekend with “unprecedented flooding” in the Houston area. But the post-storm downpour hasn’t yet stopped. Meteorologists are predicting the rains from Harvey will last up to 5 days. Officials told ABC news that 25 inches of rain had already fallen, and one meteorologist estimated some 340 billion gallons of rainfall inundated the area, far exceeding past flooding by over one hundred billion gallons.
The torrential flooding has already claimed at least five lives and continues to devastate the Texas area as buildings and homes become submerged. In a tweet, the National Weather Service called the effects associated with the now downgraded Tropical Storm Harvey “unprecedented” and “unknown and beyond anything experienced.”
The New York Times reports that emergency responders completed more than 1,000 high-water rescues during the night. The rising waters left residents stranded on roads and in their attics. Tweets from the City of Houston told the public that 911 was at capacity and to only call if residents were “in imminent danger.”
The good news? There are ways you can help Hurricane Harvey victims.
You don’t even need to be anywhere near Texas to get involved. Here’s how.
According to Katrina Farmer, the director of American Red Cross offices in San Angelo, Abilene and Wichita Falls, money is the easiest way to help the flood victims and rescue efforts — even more so than donating physical goods. Undesignated items may not be needed, so money is the safest bet. “This is going to be an expensive disaster,” she explained.
You can donate to the American Red Cross by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Salvation Army is also accepting donations, which you can make at helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-725-2769.
And you can donate through Google, too. The company has included a donate button if you search for “Hurricane Harvey.” Facebook also has a donate button to contribute, as well as Apple who allows iTunes users to donate through the app.
Donations can be made to hospitals online including Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas and animal hospitals like The Animal Defense League in Texas.
Visit ADLTexas.org for more information or call 210-655-1481.
If you want to help as many groups as possible, GlobalGiving has launched a hurricane relief fund to gather funds for local nonprofits in the afflicted region.
“The added demand has put a strain on the supply of all blood types, but especially O negative and O positive,” South Texas wrote on their website. “Having enough blood on the shelves can mean the difference between life and death for car accident victims, cancer patients and others.”
You can also search online for local blood drives or through the Red Cross website.
“Diapers are not provided by disaster relief agencies,” the Texas Diaper Bank posted on Facebook Friday. To fill that need, the TDB has asked for cash and diaper donations that they will make into emergency kits for families displaced because of Harvey.
Visit the donation page at texasdiaperbank.org and designate your donation for Disaster Relief.
The hurricane has and will continue to displace both people and animals. Airbnb has waived all service fees for those displaced or without shelter from the storm through September 1, 2017. Those in need can visit their site, and if you’re willing to open your home, you can sign up as well.
You could also give a home to a shelterless animal if you’re in the area by called Austin Pets Alive who say they, among other shelters, have gotten a number of displaced pets since the evacuations started. Visit their website to donate or call them at 512-961-6519.
If you’re in the Texas area, volunteering is also a way to help. You can sign up to be a volunteer with the Red Cross or the Salvation Army on their websites.
We’re sending our thoughts, donation, and help out to all those affected by the storm.