Many Americans during this time are looking for ways to help the evacuees of Hurricane Harvey during this devastating natural disaster. Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma hit Florida in 2005.
Over a 4 day period, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas with such an intensity that it’s hurricane-force winds knocked down trees, power poles and signs, and with torrential rain flooded streets. When Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday night between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, Texas, it was categorized as a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph by the National Hurricane Center. The storm pounded the Texas coast and its millions of residents received as much as 40 inches of rainfall in some areas, causing catastrophic flooding. The residents also had some areas hit with as much as 13 feet of storm surge and large, destructive waves.
The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people, and prompted more than 17,000 rescues. Hurricane Harvey caused at least 71 confirmed deaths; 1 in Guyana, and 70 in the United States. Currently, Hurricane Harvey is considered the worst disaster in Texas history, and expected the recovery to take many years. The economic losses are estimated to be between $70 to $200 billion. Unfortunately a large portion of the losses have been sustained by uninsured homeowners that will need to rebuild.
It is understandable that many Americans would like to help the people of Texas that have been impacted with the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. However, it is difficult for many Americans to know where to donate to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately, during these times of natural disaster there are also many scammers that will victimize charitable people that truly want to help.
How to Avoid Scams and Donate to Reputable Organizations so Your Donations Can Really Make a Difference….
Below are some ways to donate to larger reputable organizations. There are many great local and national organizations that you can also donate, but if you want to be sure to avoid scammers. The New York Times recommends checking with Charity Navigator’s list of reputable Harvey-related charities or the FTC’s tips for avoiding fraudsters before opening your wallet.
- Donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts by texting HARVEY to 90999. The tax-deductible $10 donation will appear on your next phone bill. Alternatively, you can donate directly through the Red Cross’s website. If you have an Amazon account, you can also donate to the Red Cross through this website.
- Donate to the Salvation Army online or by texting STORM to 51555.
- Donate the United Way of Greater Houston flood relief fund, which will help with immediate and long-term recovery, through its website or by texting UWFLOOD to 41444.
- Tim Cook announced on Sunday that Apple will accept donations to various relief organizations directly through iTunes.
- You may have noticed a prompt to donate to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy at the top of your Facebook page when you log in. If you don’t see it, you can also donate via Facebook through the CDP’s Facebook page.
- GoFundMe created a landing page for Harvey-related campaigns.
- The mayor of Houston created a Hurricane Harvey Relief fund that will help victims affected by the storm. You can make a donation here.
- The Coastal Bend Long Term Recover Group will help with recovery moving forward. You can volunteer and donate goods and funds here.
- GlobalGiving Foundation has a campaign page for donations here.
- And because we can’t forget our animal friends in a time of crisis, you can help by donating to the Houston Humane Society and San Antonio Humane Society. Austin wasn’t affected by the storm, but Austin Pets Alive has stepped up efforts to care for shelter animals in the storm’s path.