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Texas officials and the federal government are asking for help with rescue and recovery efforts in southeastern Texas after Hurricane Harvey barreled through on Saturday leaving a trail of destruction and causing historic flooding in Houston and other areas. The disaster is still unfolding as rain continues to inundate the region, and forecasters are predicting the rain will continue for several more days.
Whether you want to help on the ground or prefer to donate online, there are many ways to assist those in need of help as the catastrophic conditions in Texas continue to unfold.
The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency used a Washington, D.C. news conference Monday to send out a call for volunteers to help with disaster relief efforts in the Lone Star State, saying that authorities “need citizens to get involved” to deal with the scope of the massive problems which continue to unfold in Houston and along the Texas Gulf Coast.
“This is a landmark event for Texas, Texas has never seen an event like this,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long, as he urged those who want to help to go to the website of the National Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster at www.nvoad.org.
"We need citizens to get involved"- FEMA advice on how to help those caught up in Tropical Storm Harvey https://t.co/1eph7MPrMG— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 28, 2017
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross serving Central Texas urgently needs volunteers to work in local shelters to help Gulf Coast hurricane evacuees.
Volunteers can sign up at redcross.org/volunteer. For more information, call 1-800-928-4271.
To make a $10 donation to the Red Cross, text the word HARVEY to 90999 and the money will be charged to your phone bill.
In Williamson Country, the Salvation Army is stocking its mobile kitchen with food to distribute meals to Hurricane Harvey first responders and survivors. To support the hurricane relief efforts, visit helpsalvationarmy.org.
Austin Disaster Relief Network
Austin Disaster Relief Network representatives say this is one of the largest responses in its history.
Monetary donations are also needed to help the network provide support to survivors affected by the storm.
To make a tax-deductible gift, go to https://adrn.org/give/ and make a donation to the “Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.”
Funds will be distributed in the form of gift cards, emergency housing, emergency transportation and building materials to meet immediate and long-term needs, the network said.
The call center was activated Friday, providing information and resources to individuals and families affected by Hurricane Harvey, along with volunteer engagement, and donor management.
The network is preparing to deploy emotional and spiritual care teams over the next few days.
They’re also coordinating with Red Cross of Central Texas, providing volunteers for shelter staffing within the Greater Austin area.
Local congregations from a network of more than 175 churches are also preparing to sponsor survivor families.
Families seeking support and volunteers wishing to support survivors should contact the call center at 512-806-0800.
Texas food banks
Texas food banks are mobilizing for Hurricane Harvey’s arrival. Feeding Texas, a statewide nonprofit group that steps in when a disaster is too much for one food bank to handle, is recommending that Texans contact their closest food bank to find out how to volunteer or donate following the hurricane. Feeding Texas advises those interested in helping, to consider donating money instead of food. “This can be done from the safety of your home and will avoid the complications of sorting and distributing varied food items,” according the group’s news release.
The Central Texas Food Bank, at 6500 Metropolis Drive, can be reached at 512-282-2111.
Texas Diaper Bank
The Texas Diaper Bank is also in need of donations to provide emergency diaper kits to evacuee families. Donate online at texasdiaperbank.org and designate funds to disaster relief.
Austin Pets AliveAustin Pets Alive! has been accepting animals from shelters on Hurricane Harvey’s direct path, according to the nonprofit organization. It is now at full capacity and is asking the community for financial support as well as for people who can foster dogs and cats as the group begins to accept more animals. In-kind donations such as large wire crates, cat litter and canned wet dog and cat food are among the group’s most immediate needs. Volunteers who can help this weekend are also needed. To donate or volunteer, visit austinpetsalive.org.
The Houston Humane Society is aslo helping shelter and care for storm victim’s pets. You can donate to the organization at houstonhumanesociety.org.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas is also up and running and in emergency mode to help stuggling and abandoned pets in the disaster zone.
You can give to the SPCA on their website.