By Josie Sanchez
With the recent natural disasters occurring down in the South, it’s hard not to be baffled by all the damage that has occurred. Hurricane Harvey has now passed over the Houston, Texas area not only once but twice. Hurricane Irma is currently in full effect moving throughout Florida. Not only are two hurricanes bad enough but the third one, Hurricane Jose is expected to hit the U.S. East Coast sometime next week.
The damage that has occurred and that will continue on for weeks to come has left millions of people without housing. It has left many with homes with no roofing, siding, windows, or even front doors. Their personal items have been ruined by all of the flood water despite many efforts to keep these things dry. Many people have also lost their pets. These animals may have ran off trying to hide during the early stages of the storm and have not been found. Others may have been unable to swim or simply had been left behind by their owners.
With the current state of the storm there have been over 60 deaths that have been accounted for, this number is expected to grow with the next two storms. Despite all efforts to evacuate the areas that the storms are expected to hit some people choose to stay in their homes in hopes to ride out the weather. The National Guard and other groups are working their hardest to try to save all the people that they can from the high flood waters. In many cities these groups and volunteers have set up cots and food in stadiums or large indoor areas that are safe for those that are in need of a place to stay. The National Guard is telling people who may be stuck in their homes to hang a blanket or towel from their roof or door to notify them that they need help. People who have boats have been riding around trying to give aid to their neighbors to the best of their capability. Many children will go without schooling for weeks due to the fact that their schools are underwater or have major wind damage.
So how can you help? You can check with local churches or organizations that may be making a mission trip to go help those in need. But sadly not all of us are able to take the bus or plane ride down to Florida and Texas. There are many things you can do from home. Try to find your nearest donation center, many places like Salvation Army, Goodwill, The Red Cross and many more are collecting items such as clothes, household items, and personal hygiene products to take down to the victims. If all else fails money is one of the best things you can give. Only so much money from the government is able to help with the hurricane relief programs. The money that you’re able to donate will go towards food and other items, not to mention the rebuilding process of schools, homes, and any other builds that are in need of repair. You can also try a fundraising program with your school, church or workplace in efforts to raise money. If you’re unsure where to send your donation try contacting The Red Cross and they can help direct you. You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.
As sad as it is to say the hurricanes will happen no matter what we try to do, but if we stand together as a country and do our best to support each other the rebuilding process may be a little easier.
“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can’t change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.” -Charles de Lint
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org