Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Visiting Texas: Hurricane Harvey Thoughts + Ways to Help & Resources

Hey Butterflies. This past week has really tested my patience and my faith. As I prepare to start my day, I can't help but reflect on what's been happening here in Texas. Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Rockport, Texas which is about thirty minutes from Corpus Christi on Saturday August 25th leaving a huge mess across all of Southern Texas.

I've never wanted the rain to stop so bad in my entire life, it poured rain nonstop for days, causing life threatening problems for all of us. My guy was stuck at his job for five days, my sister's home was flooded and they had to be rescued, my cousin's home was flooded, and I was trapped in my neighborhood surrounded by water, unable to get to my loved ones, work or anywhere else. It's still all unreal to me, it's like something you see on the news and you feel bad for the people going thorough it but until you actually go through it or a similar's hard to truly understand.

Ironically, as I set listening to the Matchbox Twenty station on Pandora trying to clear my mind of all the worrying and hoping that the rain would stop and we'd all make it through this, Matchbox Twenty's "These Hard Times" song from their 2008 "Exile on Mainstream" album played and it's been stuck in my head ever since. This is thus far the worst of the storms/hurricanes that I remember. I was in high school in 2001 during Tropical Storm Allison, so I don't remember much about it, I do remember watching the news and seeing all of the highways covered in water and all the people that were effected by it and being thankful that my family didn't suffer any losses. Prior to Harvey, Ike was the Hurricane that I remembered the most. In September 2008, Ike came through and wreaked havoc on the Houston area leaving us without electricity for two weeks.

Anyway, this whole situation is sad and very stressful, I haven't gotten a good nights rest in almost a week. I work in the oil & gas industry so I've been working nonstop since last Thursday and between work and worry about my family, my mind is all over the place. Things are looking up though, the rain has finally stopped, most of the flooding is receding and people from all over have started pitching in to help with relief efforts. Things I was reminded of during Harvey...

1) Be Thankful. We get so caught up in our daily actives that we forget it could all change in an instant. A number of people lost their lives due to Hurricane Harvey including a classmate of mine and so many people lost their homes, cars and most of their possessions. They say when you're going through something there's always someone going through something worse. I am TRULY thankful just to be alive and able to try to get back to normal.

2) Know where your important/irreplaceable are. We don't really think about this until we're forced to but it's beneficial to keep your most important and non replaceable items in the same place if possible, this and a minimalist lifestyle comes in handy when you only have a few minutes to grab a few things and get out.

3) Get and keep your finances in order. Emergencies usually happen when we're unprepared for them. Having an emergency credit card and/or savings account is critical when you're in survivor mode. Also getting some property insurance wouldn't be a bad idea too. Speaking of insurance, there is supposedly a new law taking effect in September that's going to negatively impact homeowners insurance, so if you need to submit a claim, do so before Friday.

4) Get a good weather/news app. I usually rely on "what's trending" on social media for important things I need to know; I don't like watching "the news" because it's depressing and makes me worry about things I normally wouldn't worry about and because of that I didn't learn about Hurricane Harvey until the day before it made landfall. The National Weather Service (NWS) sends weather warnings and alerts, there was about 15 sent during Hurricane Harvey. NWS also has an app.

5) Try to keep your pantry stocked. If you depend solely on eating out and don't really keep groceries in your home, you might want to keep a few things on hand or at least until hurricane season is over. I wasn't able to make groceries before the storm and we weren't able to get out for five days but we had food and water already in the pantry so we were fine. Once people were able to get out and the stores reopened, the lines and product limits were crazy.

6) If possible keep your gas tank full. Being honest, I ride around on E often and I know it's bad but I always forget to get gas. Anyway, I work for a fuel company and I can tell you first hand the extreme demand for fuel during a hurricane is unreal. The gas market has been going up majorly everyday, the supply is limited due to some liquids terminals being down so stations all over have been out of fuel for over a week.

7) Rain boots are not just for fashion. Two coworkers of mine, one from a previous job and the other from my current job purchased the same pair/color of Michael Kors rain boots some time ago and they were both given such a hard time for it. Rain boots aren't a necessity and I don't think I've ever owned a pair or even considered buying any but, they defiantly would have come in handy during this storm.

How to Help:

1) Donate Money - If you can afford it, the Houston Flood Relief Fund setup by Houston Texans own JJ Watt is taking donations to help with recovery efforts and so is Beyonce's BeyGood Foundation in partnership with Bread of Life, Greater Houston Community Foundation, and Texas Southern University.

2) Donate Your Time - Volunteering is and always will be the best way to get involved. Per the request of the people, Houston's Lakewood Church is now opened as a shelter for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey but they are in need of volunteers.

3) Donate Personal Hygiene Items & Baby Products - I've seen a few shelters report that they have received a ton on clothing donates but are in need of other items. If you're in North Houston, my place of worship, Dwelling Place Church (formerly Houston Worship Center) is accepting donations.

4) Donate School Supplies & School Clothes - A lot of teachers and parents were getting there kids prepared for back to school this week and a lot of them lost it all.

Relief Resources:

1) Dial 2-1-1 or 3-1-1
3) RedCross
4) Houston Area Shelters
5) Houston Food Bank
6) Other Houston Recovery Resources via the Houston Chronicle

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by, please leave a comment...your feedback is greatly appreciated! - Mika