- As Hurricane Harvey continues to cause devastating flooding in Texas, tens of thousands of people could be driven from their homes.
- Donations to the Salvation Army and Red Cross can help provide relief to those affected by the tropical storm.
- The Better Business Bureau cautions against donating to unvetted campaigns raising disaster relief funds.
Relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey are underway, even as the storm continues to wreak havoc in Texas.
More than two feet of rain has already fallen in Houston, and the city may see another two feet in the next few days, Business Insider reported. Texans were about halfway through the worst of the storm on Monday, but devastating flooding is likely to continue. Tens of thousands of people could be driven from their homes as a result.
Donations to the Salvation Army to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts can be made:
- Online: helpsalvationarmy.org
- Call: 1-800- SAL-ARMY
- Text: STORM to 51555
To see how your donations are being put to use in the field, the organization provides disaster updates as well.
The Salvation Army has provided shelter, food, and clothing to victims in Houston, and in other hard-hit cities volunteers have been assisting in the efforts to rescue victims as flood waters rapidly rise.
“As the situation in south Texas continues to worsen following Hurricane Harvey’s landfall, The Salvation Army has activated all of its US and Canadian emergency disaster response assets. These units are able to provide food, shelter and emotional and spiritual care to those impacted by this ongoing devastating weather event,” said Major C. Mark Brown, Director of Business Operations for The Salvation Army Texas Division.
— Salvation Army USA (@SalvationArmyUS) August 25, 2017
Donations to the Red Cross to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts can be made:
- Online: redcross.org
- Call: 1- 800-RED CROSS
- Text: the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Red Cross is similarly helping those affected by Harvey, with hundreds of trained volunteers providing meals and shelter for victims, including enough cots and blankets to support more than 20,000 people.
“We are launching our largest hurricane relief effort in years, and with the help of our partners, we are ready to shelter thousands of people,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross.
— American Red Cross (@RedCross) August 28, 2017
Last year, a ProPublica investigation revealed shortcomings in assistance provided by the Red Cross, but the charity’s response to the criticisms underscored the compexity and challenges of responding to natural disasters.
Use caution when donating, warns the Better Business Bureau
While financial donations to reputable organizations can help provide assistance to Texans in need, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Give.org advises using caution when donating to organizations that have not been properly vetted and do not have a history of providing disaster relief.
“The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey prompts us to do what we can to help as soon as possible,”said H. Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org,) “but donors need to be aware of some key cautions so that their generosity will get to those in need quickly.”
So-called storm chasers looking to capitalize on the disaster may launch crowdfunding appeals, according to the BBB. If you see a suspicious campaign, you can report it to the BBB Scam Tracker, or by calling the Texas Attorney General’s hotline at 800-621-0508 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.