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Here's How You Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Harvey Right Now

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Hurricane Harvey made landfall last Friday, just north of Corpus Christi, Texas, as a Category 4 hurricane. And, although the National Hurricane Center downgraded the hurricane on Saturday to a tropical storm, as Slate reported, Harvey still brought strong winds and flooding throughout parts of Texas.

Houston was one of the cities to be hit hardest by the storm. Several homes and power lines have collapsed, roads are closed off and. although hundreds have been saved by rescue workers, many people still remain in dire need of help.

According to USA Today, more than 75,000 people have called in to 911 for help; City Police Chief Art Acevedo stated that officers have rescued more than 2,000 people, and 185 rescue requests are still pending. On Monday, FEMA administrator Brock Long stated that more than 30,000 people will need shelters as a result of the hard rains and flooding —and more than 450,000 people were expected to seek disaster assistance, reported CNBC.

 

Harvey has devastated Houston and other parts of Texas, but you can help. If you live in the Houston area, the sheriff’s office is asking residents with boats to contact them and help with rescues. You can also offer a room for displaced residents to stay in for free through Airbnb.

If you don't live in Houston, don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways you can help. There are a number of organizations on the ground that you can donate to that will directly benefit the communities devastated by the storm. Remember to always do your research before sending money anywhere and that, often, the local, community-oriented groups are more prepared to help those in the most dire need:

  1. All Hands.
     


     The All Hands volunteer team has staff on the ground in Texas to assist in response and recovery. All donations will go towards supporting communities affected by the storm, and any extra funds will be redirected toward future relief efforts. 
     
  2. American Red Cross. 
     



    The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance and disaster relief. Volunteers are in place on the ground in Texas to distribute supplies and assist shelters. The organization is urging people to call 1-800-RED CROSS, text HARVEY to 90999, or donate online to help those in need.
     
  3. Houston Humane Society.
     



    Calling all animal lovers! The Houston Humane Society is rescuing pets and animals that have been affected by the storm.
     
  4. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
     



    With a network of Southern Baptist churches working together, this group provides disaster relief in the form of distributing hot food, clothes, water, and other essential supplies. They also work to rebuild homes.
     
  5. Blood Donations.
     



    If you would like to donate blood, organizations like the Red Cross, Carter BloodCare, and South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are looking for donors.
     
  6. Don't forget Food Banks.
     



    The Houston Free Press has compiled a list of food banks in the affected area of the storm. You can learn more about what they do, donate, or contact them directly to volunteer your time.

There are so many ways to help in the aftermath of a large disaster—even if you don't necessarily have the money to contribute. You can always donate blood, share (verified) relief-related posts on social media or just volunteer your time. Every little bit counts. 


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