As the remnants of Hurricane Harvey continue to pummel Houston and a large swath of the Gulf Coast with torrential rain, high winds and tornadoes, two groups of first-responders from Arizona are in Texas to offer assistance.
Meanwhile, the best way people outside of Texas can help victims of the disaster is to go to the Red Cross website to donate, said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. People can also call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
“The best way you can provide help … is through the Red Cross,” Abbot said in a press conference today.
The Red Cross is setting up shelters and trucking in supplies and volunteers to assist those in need. The agency is already serving about 130,000 meals a day, Abbot said.
There are other options, but the main message stressed by disaster officials is that relief organizations do their best work, quickly, by receiving financial donations, not donations of food, clothing or other supplies.
People wishing to help “should not go out and buy things, because they might not be needed,” said Katrina Farmer, a regional director of American Red Cross.
The Salvation Army is also seeking donations on its web site. “Salvation Army disaster teams from across the country are mobilizing and, even after disaster response efforts are over, The Salvation Army will remain in communities impacted by this terrible storm, supporting long-term disaster recovery efforts and providing ongoing assistance to those in need,” the agency states.
A crew of some 80 from the Phoenix Fire Department’s Arizona-Task Force 1, a search & rescue group that cooperates with FEMA and other disaster organizations, departed for Texas last night.
“Our prayers are with Texas. I’m proud of our team, they are ready to go and will be headed to assist with rescue efforts in Texas,” said Phoenix Fire Chief Chief Kara Kalkbrenner.
“Assistance is pouring in from across the country,” Abbot said today. He named several states in addition to Arizona that were sending resources.