To quote our girl Tina Turner, “We don’t need another hero.”
We’re amid what may be the worst natural disaster in US history. Hurricane Harvey has mercilessly ravaged Houston and eastern Texas/western Louisiana three times this week. We still can’t grasp the full extent of the flooding because it’s still freaking happening. Yet the experts are ALREADY calling this one of the most catastrophic US flooding events… Ever.
Of course we want to jump in and help, right? Some of us do that by sending a tweet, others by praying, others by donating money. In fact, celebrities like Beyoncé, the Kardashians, and Sandra Bullock have all donated massive sums of money. Kevin Hart has instituted his own sort of ice bucket challenge to other celebrities to donate more money.
But some of us lunatics have an even deeper desire to literally get our feet wet and jump into the mess. I know I’m ready. But running to the rescue in Houston and surrounding areas right now is foolish and dare I say ultimately self-serving. In a week or so when the water has really begun to recede and they clean-up begins, that’s a different story. Call a local relief organization, pack your bags and get out there!
It pains me every day not to be able to go and physically help. Particularly that I’m a trained medical professional and that I have done a fair amount of disaster relief work in my life. It’s a passion of mine. But I also haven’t helped a disaster in years and I am more than rusty. In a situation like this I would only add to the burden of what is already an overwhelming set of circumstances.
You are not a trained professional. It is much more likely that you will become a victim of the circumstances rather than helping. If you don’t live in Houston or the affected areas, stay your ass at home right now. (Unless of course you are a trained professional and/or live in the Houston area and were not affected, and if so, why are you reading my blog right now? GO HELP!)
Organizations like Team Rubicon who have extensively trained ex-military and civilian individuals are the types of people who can and should be doing the brunt of the rescue work. I don’t give a shit if you have a boat and you want to drive in from a thousand miles away to help. Leave your boat at home and if you must drive to the area, find a local church or community center or sports arena who needs the volunteers. BUT …
… before you leave your house to demonstrate your heroics, first think about this. If already tens of thousands of people are sleeping in sports domes and mega churches and random strangers living rooms, where do you think you are going to sleep?
If you really want to help, open that pocketbook and find a trustworthy, preferable local, organization to donate some money. Some of my favorites are listed below. And if you are in the affected areas and actually reading this blog, God dammit hang in there! The country has your back…
Agree? Disagree? Been a part of a natural disaster yourself and live through it? Here’s current in the comments. And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and follow me @AskTheNP on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
Where should I donate?
You can start with Charity Navigator to do a bit of research on what organizations in which you are donating. – https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=5239
Team Rubicon – www.teamrubiconusa.org
The Houston Humane Society – http://www.houstonhumane.org/
The Food Bank of Corpus Christi – www.foodbankcc.com