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When disaster strikes, every little bit helps

posted Sep 8, 2017, 12:36 PM by Tech Support   [ updated Sep 8, 2017, 12:36 PM ]
The federal government, including HHS, continues to focus on the lives and safety of those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. While the integrated response continues, FEMA, along with its federal, state, local, and tribal partners, is now directing efforts towards the longer-term recovery process.

Beyond federal efforts, faith-based and community groups continue to provide significant support and efforts on the ground. We hear stories and see examples of the amazing power of community and faith to address the challenge and meet the needs of people affected by this disaster.

To find a list of amazing groups working on the ground in the affected area, review the groups listed as members of the Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) or National VOAD whichare helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey. You can also connect and encourage others working in Texas to connect to the system on the ground through the OneStar Foundation.

In addition to connecting through the many resources and links in this email, many may choose to honor the Proclamation from President Trump announcing September 3, 2017, as a National Day of Prayer. In his proclamation, the President said, "We give thanks for the generosity and goodness of all those who have responded to the needs of their fellow Americans. I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers today for all those harmed by Hurricane Harvey, including people who have lost family members or been injured, those who have lost homes or other property, and our first responders, law enforcement officers, military personnel, and medical professionals leading the response and recovery efforts."

HHS Efforts
Across the entire department, HHS continues to assist affected communities. The HHS Hurricane Harvey page highlights resources that can help communities respond and recover and will help you stay up-to-date with HHS support. HHS opened a Federal Medical Station on August 30 in Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center and at two urgent care sites set up in nearby cities. In addition, HHS has more than 1,000 personnel on the ground in Texas and Louisiana, approximately 500 more on alert and deployed medical equipment and supplies for teams to use in supporting medical and public health needs in the affected areas. On August 26, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price declared a public health emergency in Texas in response to Tropical Storm Harvey to provide greater flexibility in meeting emergency health needs.

How you can Help
To make the most of your contributions, please follow FEMA guidelines to learn the most effective and safest ways to donate cash, goods, or time following a disaster.
  • Cash is best. Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the fastest, most flexible, and most effective method of donating. Organizations on the ground know what items and quantities are needed, often buy in bulk with discounts and, if possible, purchase through area businesses which supports economic recovery.
  • Confirm donations needed. Critical needs change rapidly – confirm needed items BEFORE collecting; pack and label carefully; confirm delivery locations; arrange transportation. Unsolicited goods NOT needed can burden local organizations’ ability to meet survivors’ confirmed needs, drawing away valuable volunteer labor, transportation, and warehouse space.
  • Connect to volunteer. Trusted organizations operating in the affected area know where volunteers are needed, and can ensure appropriate volunteer safety, training, and housing.
Beyond these key efforts, please note that FEMA is also currently seeking talented and hard-working people to help support the response and recovery.

To receive the most up to date information, consider subscribing to updates from FEMA and make sure to visit the FEMA Hurricane Harvey page at https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey.