Please don’t ask what you can do to help the Houston area. Just tell us what you are going to do to help.
Texans are proud and this devastating flood has jolted us out of our comfortable lives and placed us in a very vulnerable position. If you ask what you can do for us, most Texans will point to those less fortunate than themselves. They may suggest you donate to one of the national organizations to show your support.
You Can Do More
More than ten million people in the Houston region of Texas are in shock right now. They don’t know what to do next to recover their lives. You see, it doesn’t take water intrusion into your home to be affected. The catastrophic flooding affects a much larger community where we don’t know what to do for ourselves, our neighbors or our community at large.
At times like this, we need a “checklist” for taking action. This checklist is organized for two groups. Pick a checklist and tell us what you will do to help.
Local to the Houston Region Checklist
Your neighbors need your help, but they are uncomfortable in every way you can imagine. The self-sufficiency enjoyed last week has tumbled into a pool of helplessness. They are exhausted and don’t even know what needs to be done about getting back on their feet.
Just Tell Them:
I am here to help you:
- Take pictures before anything is moved and again when things are bagged up or taken to the curb
- Make the call to the insurance company (with the owner present)
- Take food and beverages to first responders
- Make meals for other families so they don’t have to worry about cooking
- Give them a place to escape at your place to eat or just take a welcome break
- Move damaged belongings to the street for pick up
- Cut out the saturated sheetrock and drag to the curb or bag it up for the insurance company
- Retrieve important documents and take them to a place where they can be dried as individual sheets of paper
- Box up salvageable (dry) belongings
- Take clothes and bedding to be washed and return them clean/folded
- Take durable goods like dishes, pots and pans to my house to be washed and returned when you are ready for them
- Transport you to where you need to go (millions of cars have been totaled)
- Get quotes from water mitigation companies
- Bring your kids to my house for a play date
- Pick up groceries or other supplies
- Pack school lunches for the kids
- Drive them out to find a rental car (all local rental cars are gone)
- Drive them to look at replacement vehicles or call dealers who are willing to bring the prospective cars to them for consideration
I am here with supplies:
- Masks and ventilators
- Paper towels
- Disposable gloves
- Trash bags
- Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer
- Boxes and packing tape
- Sharpie for marking boxes
- Hand soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste
- Feminine hygiene products and diapers
- Mosquito repellent
- Pet food and pet kennels
- Cash and Prayers – the ultimate supplies
Outside the Houston Region Checklist
Just Tell Us:
We are strong and far from helpless victims in this part of the country. We are courageous and confident. We love our community and want to be independent. But still…we need your help.
Spiritual and Emotional Help
- Pray, meditate, visualize – or use whatever spiritual resource you acknowledge in your life to lift us up in your daily practice.
- Remember us in your spiritual communities for months to come. Right now, many people are praying for the Houston region. But things will get tougher before they get better. Please still be remembering us in a couple of months when our world is continuing to spin in disbelief and recovery.
- Call anyone you may know to show your love and support. Call them this week and call them again next week and the next. Call them every week until you can tell they are feeling close to normal. Let them vent, cry, rant and crumble emotionally. Listening is a powerful force for recovery.
Financial and Organization Support
- Every single disaster recovery organization is involved in this clean up and recovery. Donate to your favorite – whether it is the Red Cross or a local group like the Cajun Navy. Show the people who are your surrogates in the field you care too. Money keeps these organizations viable.
- Volunteer in your area. Because so many volunteers have flocked to the Houston region, your local organizations may be short of man power. Research a group who is helping here and offer your time to help there. Keep these generous groups going for the good of your own community and ours.
- Find a local organization – or be the organizer – who is gathering supplies, services and cash to be sent to our area.
- Send gift cards to restaurants and stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s
Supplies – on an Ongoing Basis
- Every time a disaster like this happens, supplies come by the truck load into the community. We are grateful. Two months from now, the supplies may no longer be coming. Find a family or an organization and pledge to give for the next six months to one year. The truth is, it will be many years before we are back to something resembling “normal.” Don’t abandon us when the news is no longer covering the catastrophe.
- If you know of someone in the local area, you can “adopt a family” to help for several months. Maybe your local organizations can compile a list of family contacts. You can use services like Amazon to send them basic supplies directly to their home. Occasionally you can use something like Uber Eats to send the family a complete meal.
- Another way to “adopt a family” would be to offer to pay for daycare for a period of time. This kind of thing is perfect for those of you who don’t trust the large national organizations. You can make a huge impact on one family – without the organization’s administration costs diminishing the affect of your generosity.
These checklists are just a “drop in the bucket” – pun intended – and should be used as an idea starter rather than being considered a comprehensive list of what can be done. Use social media to communicate your desire to help and organize others who feel the same way.
It’s going to be a long recovery. Anything we can do to help those with huge disaster impacting their lives will help shift the energy from fear into comfort. Hold us in your highest energy and tell us what you are going to do about it.
Tell Us You Care
Please stop what you are doing right now and go to one of these websites to make a donation. Every dollar counts. The people of Houston thank you for your support.
- Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
- Houston Food Bank
- Houston Humane Society
- United Way of Greater Houston
- Texas Diaper Bank
- G.B.T.Q. Disaster Relief Fund
- Red Cross
This article is contributed by professional business book ghostwriter, Kate Frank: www.AuthorLegacyResource.com/. Kate was inspired to share this information by evacuee, speaker and coach Elizabeth Barbour: www.ElizabethBarbour.com/.