Hurricane Harvey blew through 50 counties in Texas leading to unimaginable devastation and offering many opportunities for us to show our humanity by helping in the relief and rehabilitation efforts. Now is a good time for us to think about what Hurricane Harvey victims need so we can help these people get past the initial few days and then rebuild their lives, homes and communities.
With more than 30,000 people in shelters and FEMA expecting to see 450,000 disaster victims, the affectees need all the help they can get from those of us who are not as badly impacted.
Food and water.
Water maybe the cause of the misery in Texas at the moment, but it is also one of the most crucial needs of the victims. People can provide clean drinking water to shelters and food banks for distribution amongst the victims.
Non-perishable food such as milk in tetra packs, packaged cookies, tinned meats and soups and instant noodles are much in need. Due to their very nature of having a long shelf life, these food items are always welcome.
What Hurricane Harvey victims need is fresh food donated to food pantries. These pantries are mobilizing volunteers to cook and deliver/ serve the meals.
Having left behind their belongings in houses that are now submerged, the victims of Hurricane Harvey need clothes. Gently used clothing items and footwear can be sorted into piles according to age and gender and distributed amongst shelters and organizations like Career Gear, Dress for Success and the Salvation Army among others.
With crucial road links broken, medical supplies are needed urgently. From antihistamines to insulin and Tetanus vaccines, everything is in short supply and organizations like Americares, World Medical Relief and Direct Relief among others, are accepting cash and in-kind donations. If you are donating medicine, do check out WHO’s Guidelines For Medicine Donations.
If you’re a DIY person or have the muscle power to help pull down and move things around, then All Hands Volunteers , Samaritan’s Purse, and SBP are doing their bit for what Hurricane Harvey victims need to clear the debris rebuild their homes.
Baby care and personal hygiene items:
What Hurricane Harvey victims need are also basic items like baby food, diapers, wet wipes, toothpaste and deodorants. You can donate to the Texas Diaper Bank, church groups and many others who are helping people living in shelters.
This is a list of some help for what Hurricane Harvey victims need to bring normalcy back to their lives. You can always check out local groups and listings to see which organization is doing the type of work you want to donate money or goods to or maybe volunteer time at.
If you are donating in cash to charities, read this article from ProPublica about tips on Donating After Disasters.
For more organizations that need your donations and time, check out our blog here.
San Diego Union Tribune.
Texas Food Bank
Heights Interfaith Ministries Food Pantries
Dress For Success
World Medical Relief
All Hands Volunteers