Okay, I know I have so much updating to write and I have basically been doing that exclusively on Facebook because it’s so quick. I have almost zero time at a computer.
I will write about our family’s roller-coaster tomorrow. But know, we are safe in an evacuation host home that is precious, and the house is DRY (we saw today). For pictures, I’ll direct you to FB until I can get everything up here. All my Hurricane posts are viewable by the public.
However, I want to make sure if you’re in an area from Corpus to Louisiana, you have resources. Also, if you want to help well over a hundred thousand people in purgatory right now, I’ll give you some local info on how.
One of my closest friends, in an evacuation are herself, was working at her hospital today. They provided a wonderful checklist for those who have suffered a loss in their home. If you will click here, you will get the personal inventory checklist so you can get insurance reimbursement or FEMA reimbursement. The inventory contains everything from fleece jackets to piggy banks. There will be things not on there which you can add, and you’ll have an excel file to turn in for a claim.
If you are not in Houston, please keep in mind that MANY of us did not have flood insurance because were outside the 100 OR 500 year flood plain. I know many personal cases like this. We had no flood insurance. Utter devastation. To rebuild, you essentially have to have two home loans.
In addition, my friend sent me three critical documents for you to have if you are needing assistance. They are as follows:
- a summary of key federal disaster aid programs;
- hotel assistance from FEMA info; and,
- the IRS publication regarding tax relief.
If you need these documents, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you are in West Houston and know of a family who needs their clothes washed, a specific replacement item for their children, or fresh muffins and juice, please also email me at that address.
We are dry but on an total island so we will not have access to our cars for likely weeks. So… I can cook and I can wash and I can organize resources, but I can’t practically serve a volunteer shift (I also have triplets currently out of school). We plan to return home this weekend and we have power and water. We can’t get to our street, more to come tomorrow, but we can get close enough to walk into the street. My friend, and darling volunteer host home right now, has offered me an extra car so I can run missions where needed.
If you want to help most of my friends and neighbors, sit tight. Many STILL cannot get into their homes to evaluate the depth of damage. Water is standing and may for weeks. I live in West Houston and the two reservoirs (which you prayed to hold, Addicks and Barker, and they did that!) are still releasing. The government did their level best but we got 50 INCHES of rain from Friday to yesterday. That is the equivalent of a 500 inch snow storm. It’s enough to run Niagra Falls for 15 days. Houston has already surpassed it’s annual rainfall total and it’s August and we live on the coast.
That means, while I do want to set up an Amazon list to get them supplies they specifically request, we just don’t know what’s needed everywhere yet. Until then, if you would like to donate cash, I would recommend these two resources which I know will provide local support to the greatest local needs:
JJ Watt’s charity which is already distributing support for those left in Harvey’s wake – https://www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053
Houston Mayor and Harris County Judge have set up a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund – https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/
I am donating to both.
Also, if you are in Houston, my church, Grace Pres at Westheimer in the Beltway, is taking donations tomorrow. For more info, look here: http://gpch.org/harveydonations/. BUT NOTE, it is hard to get to West Houston right now. You have to come up and down Westheimer. Beltway 8 is still underwater as is Memorial and Briar Forest (the streets to the North and South of my neighborhood). So pack your patience. And don’t try to get on the Beltway.
You have probably seen the articles, but people do not need worn clothes and oversized stuffed animals right now. I’m sorry, but y’all, the devastation is beyond anything I have personally seen (and I know there are global tragedies beyond this but this is my first up close one). Folks need practical supplies to box up stuff in their house and cleaning supplies and clean water and new school shoes for their kids whose shoes just floated away before the first day of school. That’s right, Houston ISD had to cancel the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL because it was this Monday and everyone was underwater.
In Houston, most children will go back to school on Wednesday. I am trying to find out who needs new clothes or shoes before then so I can actually physically go pick it up and get it to them before they go back.
There are no words to express what the past week has been like or how I couldn’t have gotten through it without a MASSIVE community praying. It matters. Every prayer you prayed mattered. I’m going to bed but I love you all and now the work begins.