SAN ANGELO, Texas — Hurricane Harvey’s effects on the Texas coast are likely to be long-lasting and varied.
People watching from the rest of the world may feel helpless, but there are ways to get involved and help the victims of this massive storm.
Here are some options:
The best way to help Texans affected by disasters is to donate money to charitable agencies that are experienced in disaster relief, officials say.
Organizations such as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army are trained to respond to disasters such as Harvey, which is pounding the Texas Gulf Coast.
"Right now, the best thing people can do is donate money," said Katrina Farmer, director of American Red Cross offices in San Angelo, Abilene and Wichita Falls, Texas cities far from the coastline. "This is going to be an expensive disaster."
While people often want to donate items, Farmer said that isn’t as helpful as money.
"People should not go out and buy things, because they might not be needed," she explained.
Organizations participating in hurricane relief efforts include:
• American Red Cross. To donate visit redcross.org, call 1- 800-RED CROSS or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
• The Salvation Army: To donate visit givesalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-725-2769.
• Catholic Charities USA: Visit catholiccharitiesusa.org to donate.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army will be involved with disaster relief efforts, providing shelter, fresh drinking water, food, toiletries, clothes, bedding and other necessities.
They also are involved with rebuilding efforts once the storm has passed and will send trained volunteers to help with the recovery.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army also need volunteers to help at the shelters set up to house people who fled the coast.
• Red Cross: redcross.org/volunteer/.
• Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/volunteer/
By Friday afternoon, "tens of thousands" of residents on the coast were moving north, filling up shelters in San Antonio, Dallas and Fredericksburg, Farmer said.
Blood centers anticipate a shortage and are putting out urgent pleas for donations. The closure of blood banks and collection centers along the coast paired with likely injuries from the storm will stress existing supplies.
People wishing to donate blood should contact their local community's Red Cross or check for blood banks in their area.
Help a children’s hospital
Driscoll Children’s Hospital, which cares for Corpus Christi’s youngest and most ill patients, is directly in the path of Harvey. The hospital transported many of its patients out of harm’s way, but will likely sustain damage during the storm and will need funds to repair.
Donations can be made online at www.driscollchildrens.org