Hurricane Harvey Disaster Response Options
Some of you who read my monthly blog asked about Hurricane Harvey and the Energy around this event. First I want to make sure that everyone knows how to HELP. So here are a few suggestions on what you can do to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey:
1. DONATE Money – even $10 helps.
The Red Cross is actually on the ground in Texas doing the work now in over capacity shelters. In addition, a list of reputable organization to donate to is available through this New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/28/us/donate-harvey-charities-scams.html
2. DONATE Blood – Locally.
3. Send Prayers and Heart Waves.
If you cannot afford to donate money or give blood or in addition to doing those things, please PRAY. Please see my friend and fellow Energy Medicine practitioner Dina Kennedy’s blog piece on “Sending Heart Waves to Texas” for a unique approach.
Here is what is NOT HELPFUL from a Donation perspective:
Over the next few days, weeks and months there will be thoughts of sending supplies, food, clothing or God forbid – stuffed animals. Unless this effort is closely coordinated with a major organization like the Red Cross it just makes matters worse. See link below for proof: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/when-disaster-relief-brings-anything-but-relief/
Thoughts on the Energy Surrounding Hurricane Harvey.
As a heart-centered practitioner of energy medicine it is extremely difficult to continue to watch the devastation that has unfolded and will continue to unfold in Texas from Hurricane Harvey. We see great stories of triumph, heroism and resiliency. Exhausted first responders and volunteers, many of whom lost their own homes to flooding, out there helping their neighbors whether they know them or not. A Houston police officer gave his life trying to save others. This is an example the best of America.
But there are also judgments and negative energy spewing about mostly on Social Media. The poster child on this might be the University of Tampa Professor of Sociology (now fired) who claimed Harvey is karmic payback to Texas. This is an example of the worst of America. But thankfully there are many less of these stories than positive ones. Maybe this is a lesson about how we put our own energy out into the world. WORDS MATTER. THOUGHTS MATTER. It is all Energy. Be a responsible citizen. Be aware of this especially on Facebook, Twitter etc. It is incredibly ironic and disturbing that this person was a professor of Sociology.
Other examples of spewing include people both on TV and in social media who question the survivors. Why didn’t they evacuate? Who’s to Blame? Etc .etc. Perhaps Brene Brown – a famous author and a resident of Houston said it best on her post “Thank you for not judging. We were advised to stay here - we weren't reckless. Judgment and scolding about not evacuating are the opposite of empathy and helpful. It's painful. It's also how people make themselves feel better when terrible things happen. They tell themselves: "I would have done something different. That will never be me." I pray to God you're right - I hope you never watch your elderly neighbor stand waist-high in water and sob as their house gets destroyed. I hope this never happens to you. But if it does, I hope people don't lead with judgment. And a huge thank for not diminishing the request for prayer and thoughts. I'm a very involved citizen and I don't believe prayer and civil action are mutually exclusive. You don't have to denigrate one to support the other.”
Brene’s post reminded me that we all are responsible for our thoughts as we sit on our couches and watch the horror on TV. Remember to try and stay positive within your own energy – even if it is incredibly difficult to do so. Send LOVE.
There is an opinion piece in the NY Times today on how “Houston was Warned” from an environmental perspective about the possibility of a devastating Hurricane coming someday. In my other life, I spend a good amount of my time focusing on issues of land use planning, zoning, environmental protection, community organization and emergency response. So these are issues near and dear to my heart. The appropriate time for discussing the issues of over-development, zoning and inadequate storm surge planning will certainly come – as it did for all us in the Northeast who dealt with Hurricane Sandy. But for now we have an actual disaster of EPIC proportions unfolding before our eyes and we need to find ways to HELP and NOT JUDGE.
Hurricane Harvey is the most devastating storm the U.S. has ever experienced. In weather/flooding terms it is called a 500 year storm. As you already know there are parts of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S.) that have received over 52 inches of rain! Perhaps no amount of informed environment planning could prevent 52 inches of rain in one area from flooding a good portion of that place.
To give you some perspective, the area which is now submerged has reached 15 times the size of Manhattan. There are some incredibly detailed and impressive maps available through the NY Times and being continuously updated. NYT Interactive Map Hurricane Harvey
It is clear that the breadth and scope of the impact of Hurricane Harvey will eclipse every other storm – including Katrina. The disaster and the relief needed will be ongoing for weeks, months and even years. Maybe we can find a way as a Nation to heal our perceived divisions (race, religion, political party, sexual identification/orientation) by instead actually focusing on the immediate issue of helping our fellow humans in a time of need. Sending prayers and heart waves of love and strength together from every corner of our country is a good place to start.
GOD BLESS TEXAS and GOD BLESS AMERICA.