Hurricane Harvey: How to Help

As Texas continues to battle the flooding and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Boston Cares is in communication with our national network and partners about response needs and ways we can help.  While the disaster is still unfolding, it is already evident that donations of cash and time will be needed in the weeks and months to come.  Please read the information from FEMA below for guidance on how to give.  Boston Cares will post relevant updates about needs as they become available here.   For questions, please email volunteers@bostoncares.org.

 

UPDATE – 9/7/2017

Print                            HARVEY 2

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON DONATIONS

The overwhelming generosity of the public is greatly appreciated, however the the influx of donated items exceeds the needs of the impacted communities at this time. Therefore, the State of Texas is asking that you please DO NOT donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs at this time.

As we continue to receive unsolicited donations, supporting agencies must redirect staff and volunteers away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.

If you have already collected items for Hurricane Harvey, please consider donating them to a nonprofit organization in your community that accepts in-kind donations, or register in-kind donations here.  If you are a company seeking to donate goods to the Hurricane Harvey efforts, please fill out the form for Corporate Donations located here. This information will be sent to the appropriate parties as needs arise.

The most effective way for individuals and private sector partners to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable, voluntary or charitable organizations. Cash donations offer voluntary agencies and faith-based organizations the most flexibility to address urgently developing needs, as well as needs that arise over the coming months and years. With cash in hand, these organizations can obtain needed resources locally which will help local economies recover.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation have collaborated with the OneStar Foundation to form the Rebuild Texas Fund.  Michael & Susan Dell are leading the charge to raise $100 million for the fund.  Those wishing to donate to the fund can do so by visiting www.rebuildtx.org or by texting ‘rebuildtx’ to 91999.

You may also make a financial donation to a Texas VOAD Member or a National VOAD Member to help voluntary or charitable organizations continue to provide services to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON VOLUNTEERING

The State of Texas continues to experience flooding, and the situation may not be conducive to volunteers entering the impacted areas. Spontaneous or unaffiliated volunteers who self-deploy may create an additional burden on impacted communities where resources for food and shelter are scarce. The State of Texas is asking potential volunteers to register with a voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already in Texas supporting survivors on the ground.

To register as an affiliated volunteer with a voluntary or charitable organization, please visit the National VOAD or Texas VOAD for a list of partners active in disaster. Alternatively, you may register your interest to volunteer here, and partner organizations may reach out to you.

Most importantly, please be patient. Hurricane Harvey recovery will require volunteer engagement for many months and years to come, so sign up now. Continue monitoring traditional and social media channels, including www.volunteertx.org for the latest information.

 


fema

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Intergovernmental Affairs Division

Telephone 202-646-3444

 

Intergovernmental Affairs Advisory

HOW TO HELP DISASTER SURVIVORS IN TEXAS

August 29, 2017

The compassion and generosity of the American people is never more evident than during and after a disaster. It is individuals, non-profits, faith- and community-based organizations, private sector partners, and governmental agencies working together that will most effectively and efficiently help survivors cope with the impacts of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Please follow a few important guidelines below to ensure your support can be the most helpful for Tropical Storm Harvey disaster survivors.

TO DONATE TO RELIEF EFFORTS

The most effective way to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable, voluntary or charitable organizations.

Cash donations offer voluntary agencies and faith-based organizations the most flexibility to address urgently developing needs. With cash in hand, these organizations can obtain needed resources nearer to the disaster location. This inflow of cash also pumps money back into the local economy and helps local businesses recover faster.

Please do not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs at this time. When used personal items are donated, the helping agencies must redirect their staff away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.

Donate through a trusted organization.  At the national level, many voluntary-, faith- and community-based organizations are active in disasters, and are trusted ways to donate to disaster survivors. Individuals, corporations, and volunteers, can learn more about how to help on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) website.

In addition to the national members, The Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Texas VOAD) has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations providing services to survivors.  Texas VOAD represents more than three dozen faith-based, community, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.

TO PERSONALLY VOLUNTEER IN THE DISASTER AREAS

The State of Texas is asking volunteers to not self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up to any of the communities that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey will create an additional burden for first responders.

The National VOAD has also noted the situation may not be conducive to volunteers entering the impacted zone and individuals may find themselves turned away by law enforcement.

To ensure volunteer safety, as well as the safety of disaster survivors, volunteers should only go into affected areas with a specific volunteer assignment, proper safety gear, and valid identification.

At this time, potential volunteers are asked to register with a voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already in Texas and supporting survivors on the ground.

The National and Texas VOAD websites are offering links to those who wish to register to volunteer with community- and faith-based organizations working in the field.

Most importantly, please be patient. Although the need is great, and desire to help strong, it is important to avoid donating material goods or self-deploying to help until communities are safe and public officials and disaster relief organizations have had an opportunity to assess the damage and identify what the specific unmet needs are.

Volunteer generosity helps impacted communities heal from the tragic consequences of disasters, but recovery lasts much longer than today. There will be volunteer needs for many months, and years, after the disaster, so sign up now.

Tropical Storm Harvey is still dangerous, with the potential to impact additional areas of Texas and Louisiana. As the situation changes, needs may also change in these areas. Continue monitoring traditional and social media channels to learn more.

 

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