August 31, 2017
This has been a devastating week for so many in the state of Texas. Cell phones and access to social media, on top of round-the-clock news cycles are bringing unforgettable images right to the palms of our hands no matter what part of the country we are in. In fact, people the world over are viewing Texas the same way and witnessing a remarkable resilience and tremendous generosity that has only just begun.
What can we do today? So many are asking these questions and while emergency personnel continue to focus their efforts on rescue, recovery is on everyone’s mind. Our partners down in Texas with the Texas Trucking Association headquartered in Austin, was spared Harvey's worst - managing rainfall only in the teens. However, our trucking family's roots run across all communities and our hearts go out to all directly impacted. As such, we are communicating directly with Texas, who is hourly engaged with national, state and county emergency management stakeholders to work to lend a hand. With those recovery efforts just beginning, here's what we all can do to help our friends in Texas and what will soon be Louisiana as well:
Donate to the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army
The Red Cross is providing food, shelter and other assistance - you can contribute directly by visiting www.redcross.com or by texting "HARVEY" to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also make a donation to the Salvation Army www.salvationarmyusa.org. They also collect goods and clothing and can even schedule a pickup as well.
Contribute Food, Clothes and Personal Items to Your Local Food Bank
Your local food banks support food banks in need and during these times you can imagine that there will be a big demand in these effected areas. You can find your local food bank through this website www.feedamerica.org.
Blood and Tissue Centers have expanded their hours at numerous locations in order to help address critical blood shortages. Please visit their websites directly and you can find the nearest location to you at www.aabb.org for more information on where you can donate.
Give to the Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Harvey Relief Fund to help victims in his city where you can make donations directly here: https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/
If you are interested in offering your assets, there is an easy way to do that. Currently, where rain has produced flooded streets in Texas and escalated the need for rescue – rising rivers are now the cause for the growing floodwaters, so the focus is still on rescue efforts and for life-sustaining commodities. If you would like to offer in-kind logistics services or equipment, you can register through the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) (http://alanaid.org/how-to-help/offerinkind/) whom FEMA is in partnership with and whose registrations are being converted to FEMA directly for consideration of for-hire recovery work. Businesses interested only in for-hire work with FEMA can register directly at this website: https://www.fema.gov/about-industry-liaison-program.
While parts of the state of Texas are still in active emergencies with stranded people and rising water, others are shifting their focus on recovery efforts and protocol for each city or county in Texas is given by those local jurisdictions independently. Here also FEMA can help you. These jurisdictions are the emergency management operations centers of the individual Texas counties. Evacuated areas are still inaccessible to unauthorized freight. Spontaneously showing up in these areas in not advised, as you must coordinate with the local communities. So before you depart with any loads, please crosscheck your route with this real-time website www.drivetexas.org for road closures to ensure you have selected a permissible and safe path. Be sure and “hover” your mouse over the symbols or colors on the roadway map for information on that particular segment. Some specifically say lanes are open, but frontage roads are under water. For authorized access or re-entry you will need to send the below information to FEMA at R6firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that law enforcement must have all information before granting access.