People to Pets: 5 Ways To Help Hurricane Harvey Victims
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The state of Texas has been battered by Hurricane Harvey, a tropical cyclone for which Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a "major disaster declaration" on Aug. 25.
The category 4 hurricane has come with extreme winds, some topping 215 km/h, multiple isolated tornados, torrential rains, and mass flooding in places like Houston, which has received more than 66 centimetres of rain, with more expected to come. Thus far the storm has been responsible for eight deaths, seven in the U.S. and one in Guyana and this number is expected to rise as the storm continues to batter the state.
Texas governor Greg Abbott has declared 54 Texas counties state disaster areas right now and 3,000 state and national guard troops have been mobilized to help residents. In Houston alone, Police Chief Art Acevedo says his staff has completed 90 flood rescue missions to save more than 1,100 residents.
With natural disasters of this magnitude there are a lot of people willing to help those who've been affected. Emo rap star Drake says he's "working with local relief groups" right now and Beyonce, and Houston native Beyonce is praying for Texas. Neighbour state California has already some emergency first response teams to help out in disaster relief efforts and Mexico has offered to send troops to support their border-mate, something they also did in 2005 when Hurricane Sandy hit Louisiana.
If you're not a trained emergency service provider the best way to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey is to open your wallet. Former President Barack Obama has suggested that people send money to the American Red Cross to help in disaster relief efforts.
The Red Cross is always a good choice in situations like these, but because of the scope of this crisis there are a lot of other aid services that are going to need help in a lot of different ways. We've listed five services below that could use some support as they help Hurricane Harvey victims:
Austin Pets Alive
A number of different animal shelters and services have opened their doors to displaced pets, including Austin Pets Alive, which has taken in 235 animals in recent days. The shelter has a detailed list of things it needs to help care for the animals.
This Texas food bank networker works with the various food banks across the state with the goal of creating a hunger-free Texas. They've identified nine food banks that have been impacted by Harvey already and are looking to help the people they service.
This organization provides diapers for families in need.
On first look, the housing service provider seems like an unusual resource, but the company is waiving all fees for those affected by Harvey between now and September 1 and has also put a call out to people who want to offer their living spaces for free.
The charity watchdog charity isn't helping out in Texas, exactly. But what this vetting organization has done is made a list of the 10 most reputable charities doing useful work in Texas right now. Supporting any of the organizations they've listed — including Save The Children, Americares and Convoy Of Hope — will mean your money will likely be put to good use.
* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.