Hurricane Harvey set records as it deluged the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, leaving behind a wake of death and destruction that has to-date claimed 39 lives, 100,000 homes and caused untold billions in damages — at least $30 billion as of Aug. 31.
Many industries have clearly been interrupted, including produce and transportation. An estimated 27 trillion gallons of rainfall deluged the Gulf states over six days, enough to fill the Houston Astrodome 85,000 times.
And it will take some time for flood waters that rose as deep as 12 feet in some areas to recede and rebuilding to begin. Costs for those efforts are projected to exceed $50 billion.
So How Can You Help?
In a day and age where skepticism about relief organizations runs deservedly deep, we’d urge you to check these sources out for yourself before donating. But this is a good place to start:
Top of the charts is the American Red Cross. You can make an easy $10 donation simply by texting HARVEY to to 90999. You will get a return text asking for your ZIP code and the $10 donation will be added to your phone bill.
The Houston Texans standout defensive end J.J. Watt launched a campaign in his hometown last week with the hope of raising $200,000 — so far he’s brought in more than $12 million so the goals has been raised to $15 million. Several NFL teams have donated as much as $1 million. Stars have upped the ante — Ellen DeGeneres gave $1,000,000, singer Miley Cyrus gave $500,000 and rapper Drake came across with $200,000. You can find out more about Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund here.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established a Harvey relief fund at The Greater Houston Community Foundation. The organization connects donors with a network of nonprofits and innovative solutions in the social sector.
GlobalGiving is another crowdfunding community — its goal is $2 million for immediate needs of food, water and shelter.
United Way of Greater Houston has launched a relief fund for storm-related needs and recovery.
The Salvation Army has organized efforts to provide food and water for first responders and will turn its attention to residents after the immediate crisis passes.
Feeding Texas is a statewide nonprofit that works alongside state and federal relief efforts and welcomes donations of money or food.
Portlight Strategies works to provide disaster relief for people with disabilities.
Save the Children is providing relief supplies and services to help children and families in shelters and other victims.
And the SPCA of Texas is organizing evacuations of pets and providing other resources for pet owners.