Reaching out to our American neighbours in a time of need

Red Deerians are encouraged to help the cause

The images coming out of Houston, Texas these days are, as we all know, absolutely horrendous.

News reports say that since midnight Sunday, more than 2,300 calls have poured into the Houston Fire Department, including 400 calls for rescue Monday afternoon, Houston officials said.

Houston police had also rescued 1,000 people since Monday morning, bringing the total number rescued to more than 3,000 since the storm flooded the City. Other reports are saying that there could be thousands still trapped awaiting rescue.

The scope of how many people are trapped in flooded homes remains unclear.

Rep. Al Green reportedly told CNN that he believes 10,000 people are still trapped in flooded homes in just one section of Houston he toured Monday. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said she believes the number of trapped residents across Houston could be “tens of thousands.”

Those numbers are incredibly staggering. It is a horrific scene that is reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans was forever changed by that catastrophic event, and it took upwards of a decade to restore the city and work still continues to be done.

So what can we do to help make a difference?

Organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are providing assistance to those impacted by the storm. According to the Salvation Army web site, “As Hurricane Harvey causes widespread damage across Texas, the Salvation Army is ready to provide physical, emotional and spiritual care to survivors and relief workers.

“Additionally, Salvation Army staff have been deployed to work alongside colleagues in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Response Coordination Center in Washington D.C. and at the Texas State Operations Center in Austin. Disaster leadership teams have been positioned in San Antonio, Galveston/Texas City, Houston and Corpus Christi – close to Rockport, where Hurricane Harvey made landfall late on Friday night with winds of 130 miles per hour (210 kms per hour).”

The American Red Cross is also working around the clock to provide safe shelter and comfort for the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by this disaster. According to their web site, there are numerous reports of people stranded in their homes and water rescues are ongoing.

Roads are flooded, rail lines are shut down, airports closed and hundreds of thousands have no power. Numerous hospitals, nursing facilities and dialysis centers are closed.

Hurricane Harvey will continue to produce an additional several feet of rain over the next several days and millions of people are facing flash flood warnings, including the entire Houston metro area.

Any help, whether it’s as little as $5, can make a difference. If everyone gave a small amount it can make a profound impact for thousands of lives.

It’s not just donations for the current time, but these residents affected face a very uncertain future with rebuilding that can take years.

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