The devastating floods in Houston and the Texas Coast are prompting most of us to determine what can we do to help. Below is a an email from Llano County Emergency Management Coordinator Ron Anderson providing some direction on the current status of support and how we can help.
Please contact Ron Anderson or me directly should you have any questions or require additional information.
I have had feedback on this Hurricane Harvey donation email with information on another way to donate with gift cards distributed through the Texas Federation of Republican Women Organization.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO!
Send a gift card from Home Depot, Lowe’s, or WalMart that TFRW can distribute to the hardest hit areas along the Texas Gulf Coast.
PLEASE SEND YOUR GIFT CARDS TO:
Texas Federation of Republican Women
13740 N Highway 183 – Suite J4
Austin, Texas 78750-1832
The TFRW will get your gifts out to where they are needed as quickly as possible.
Llano County Commissioner Pct 1
P.O. Box 8759
101 Ferguson Rd.
Bus phn: 830-598-2296
From: Ron Anderson [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:05 AM
Subject: Harvey now through with Texas!
It looks like Harvey is now over Louisiana and headed northeast. The rain in Houston is ending and the coastal areas should remain rain free through the weekend.
Llano County has received a number of evacuees from both the coast and now Houston. Most are staying in local hotels, B&B’s or with family and friends. There are currently about 150 -180 people at Inks Lake State Park (the Governor opened all state parks for free to evacuees) and the Burnet County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is handling that situation. Some area churches may take some of these or other people over the course of this week. I have made available the use of our Red Cross supplies (cots and blankets) per Llano County Judge Cunningham and the OEM stands ready to offer whatever assistance we might be able to provide. FEMA has a number of direct assistance programs available to the displaced populations.
As Llano County is not on any hurricane evacuation routes and is not set up to conduct large scale sheltering operations the advice I will continue to offer is for evacuees to find shelter in Austin. The Austin OEM has established a number of shelters and has a tremendous capacity to handle thousands of people safely and efficiently. These shelters are also set up to provide not only counseling services but will have victims assistance centers that will help people obtain much of the free help available from FEMA and the State and any other Non-Government Organizations operating in this event. FEMA will not only pay lodging providers directly for rooms for the displaced but will give a $500 payment to each to cover costs for gas, meals, sundries and more. These shelters also have child care, senior care and many other things that make them a more reasonable choice for shelter than a parking space at a state park.
If people wish to make donations please refer them to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or Texas Baptist Men and other organizations (all local HEB’s have lists of vetted organizations).
Contact information for these organizations are:
> Red Cross: Text HARVEY to 90999 to give $10 (through your cell phone bill) or give any other amount through http://www.RedCross.org.
> Salvation Army: Donate here — http://give.salvationarmyusa.org.
> Texas Baptist Men: http://texasbaptistmen.org/Give-Now.
> Houston Flood Relief Fund: Organized by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt — https://www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053.
More information is provided on the Llano County Emergency Management Facebook page. This can be accessed through this link. https://www.facebook.com/Llano-County-Department-of-Land-Development-and-Emergency-Management-956667784399433/
I know there are currently clothing and donation drives being conducted everywhere. While the altruistic enthusiasm of these folks is admirable there are more efficient ways to get help directly to those most in need. The organizations I mentioned are already on the ground in the stricken communities and are providing relief and supplies to those trying to recover and rebuild. The Texas Division of Emergency Management states that what tends to happen is that a disaster within the disaster occurs when all of these tons of clothes, mattresses, thousands of cases of bottled water, diapers and everything else you can imagine (think of the biggest garage sale you’ve ever attended times 10,000!). Almost all of the clothing will be rejected for distribution to victims and either donated to any thrift store that will come and take them away or disposed of after everything is over. It will require an entire incident management team (20-40 people) at each site to receive, sort and try to distribute these items. There is also the difficulty of all of those individuals travelling to the disaster sites that creates undue burdens on the already overwhelmed local police and traffic control people. All of that is on top of what the recognized relief organizations are already there providing. When people donate money through American Red Cross and The Salvation Army specifically to Harvey, 100% of it goes to relief. Not one dime goes to pay for administrative or other costs within the organization. Cash donations to these organizations is THE BEST WAY TO HELP at this time. Please direct any person with questions to this office or give them my contact number and I will do my best to assist in any way possible on both an individual and collective level.
Thank you, Ron
Emergency Management Coordinator
Llano County Office of Emergency Management
Office (325) 247-2039
Fax (325) 247-3785
Cell (512) 589-3343