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Here's How You Can Help With Hurricane Harvey Relief

Hurricane Harvey Relief
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Hurricane Harvey has pummeled the Gulf Coast of Texas. As of Sunday night, the storm had already unloaded more than 9 trillion gallons of water, and it's not over yet.

The National Weather Service has called the event "unprecedented" and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is already saying the recovery process could take years. FEMA Administrator William Brock Long told Meet the Press on Sunday that the organization can't even begin recovery work yet. "Right now we are deep into the life-safety mission of helping people be rescued through swift water rescue, search and rescue," he said.

The flooding is severe. It may have you wondering how you can help. There are many organizations aiding the ongoing relief effort, and any amount of support can go a long way. Here's how to help, other than donating to the American Red Cross

Donations and Volunteering

Donate Blood

Blood is in demand due to blood banks in the flood zone closing in addition to expected demand increases due to injuries sustained in the storm.

  • In Texas, you can donate to Carter BloodCare and the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, which are both in need. “The added demand has put a strain on the supply of all blood types, but especially O negative and O positive,” South Texas Blood and Tissue wrote on their site. “Having enough blood on the shelves can mean the difference between life and death for car accident victims, cancer patients and others.”
  • If you're outside Texas, you can book an appointment to donate through the Red Cross.

Shelter

Officials in Texas say the storm may push upwards of 30,000 people into shelters. Many of the above relief efforts will be helping accommodate displaced residents, as will local businesses, churches, mosques, and other organizations. Here are a few other organizations that are focusing on providing shelter.

  • Houston's Coalition for the Homeless is providing emergency shelter and will continue to provide vital services throughout the recovery process. The organization is also working to use relief funds to find housing for displaced formerly homeless individuals.
  • Coalition for the Homeless is only accepting monetary donations, but The Way Home Houston has a list of partner organizations that provide direct services and can accept in-kind donations.
  • Airbnb is offering free housing in San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin to people who have been forced to evacuate their homes due to the storm. Fees are waived if you book a room before September 1. At the site, there's information about how you can donate a room yourself. 

Of course, smaller local organizations do lots of great work, but if you're from outside the area you may not have heard of them. One good way to check on the good works done by an organization is looking it up on Charity Navigator. It also has a list of organizations doing hurricane relief work. If you suspect any organization or individual is fraudulently collecting funds, you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.

h/t Houston Chronicle, Huffington Post, New York Times

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