Random Thoughts for the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
Day 12 – Things are slowly returning to somewhat normal for folks in Houston. I’m one of the lucky two-thirds of citizens who received minimal damage. And I mean minimal. After the rain finally stopped my biggest problems were partial flooding in my back yard, a green pool, and two roof leaks. As I write this, all are fixed and I am the luckiest girl in the world.
Fatigue is now settling in with my fellow #HoustonStrong friends and neighbors. At first, the call to action was answered in record numbers. People with boats showed up, volunteers outnumbered the evacuees, and there was an influx of financial donations and supplies from other states. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. When you have too many volunteers, that’s a good problem to have, but like I said, fatigue is settling in right along with our humidity.
At first the media was reporting on how Houston was coming together, taking care of their fellow community members, not waiting on government assistance. But now the focus is shifting to the looting, stealing and scams, the outraged citizens who want the government to buy their flooded homes, the frustration of volunteers who feel that things are disorganized, and the slow moving wheels of insurance companies.
For those of us who were turned away because there were too many volunteers, or too many clothes, or too many blankets, or too many bottles of water, there will be time to help in the months ahead because repairing a city this size (6.3 million in Houston proper) is going to take a while. But I encourage you to read or watch this story When Disaster Relief Brings Anything But Relief to understand what it is that people need. It blew my mind. You’d think clothes and water are the basic necessities needed when dealing with individuals who have lost everything. It’s not.
September is the busiest month for hurricanes and Irma is now racing toward Florida with another one behind it. Seems like lately we are always on the brink of disaster, doesn’t it? The wildfires across our nation, a president who seems more interested in building a wall, than healing relations, and a sociopath who is still testing nuclear weapons half a world away. I feel blessed to live in a city with so many caring individuals.
This may be wishful thinking but I hope the goodwill shown during Hurricane Harvey spreads everywhere. – especially to Washington DC.