August 2017 – Present / Houston, Texas
Hurricane Harvey has brought unprecedented destruction to Texas and the real toll of lives lost, communities hurting, and homes and businesses destroyed is just beginning to unfold. Harvey is the most powerful hurricane to hit the US since 2005, superseding Hurricane Sandy. The recovery is going to be long and hard; that’s why All Hands Volunteers has committed to be on the ground for at least two years, helping families recover from this disaster. We need your support, through donations and offers to come and volunteer.
Beginning as a tropical storm and fueled by unusually warm Gulf water, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday, 25 August, 2017, as a Category 4 “major” hurricane, with wind speeds of 130 mph. Harvey’s enormous destructive potential comes as a result of strong winds, torrential downpours, significant storm-surges and devastating flooding. Harvey made a total of three landfalls in Texas, damaging or destroying roughly 185,000 homes and impacting millions of people; 42,399 individuals are reported to be living in shelters. Since the initial landfall, the death toll has risen to at least 70 individuals.
ALL HANDS VOLUNTEERS AT WORK
This is the fourth time that All Hands Volunteers has responded in the Gulf Coast region of Texas in the last two years alone. That makes this response personal for us. Sherry Buresh, our Director of Domestic Response said, “We feel a close connection to the people there because we know so many of them. Our hearts go out to them.” With that, we are quite literally, All Hands on deck. To date, we have received 4,100 volunteer applications. Our volunteer coordination team is processing as quickly as possible to facilitate the maximum number of volunteers.
All Hands Volunteers is off and running in Texas in our typical all-in fashion, with multiple teams on the ground. We always seek to meet the greatest need and our teams are determined to help those who cannot help themselves; we are committed to Rebuilding Hope for all.
Operating in Fort Bend County, Harris County and Aransas Pass, our teams are knee deep in mucking and gutting, mold sanitation, chainsaw work and debris removal – the first big leaps toward getting families back into their homes. Over 800 families in Texas have registered with FEMA and our work is addressing this overwhelming need at this initial stage. Another team continues to operate the VRC (Volunteer Reception Center) in Aransas Pass, enabling volunteers to effectively plug into the response effort. To date, we have put 1172 volunteers to work through the VRC alone.
ONE MONTH RESULTS
Total Volunteers: 629
Total Volunteer Days Donated: 2,726
Human Impact (Homeowners + Volunteers): 2,178
Number of Homes Completed*: 114
*Completed=Stage one of the response as determined by the needs of the homeowner. May include mucking and gutting, mold sanitation, chainsaw work and debris removal.
A TWO YEAR COMMITMENT TO TEXAS RECOVERY
We understand that Texas has a long road ahead and All Hands Volunteers is committed for the long term. We remained in Detroit for 1.5 years, in New York (after Hurricane Sandy) for almost three years and we’re still in Louisiana; one year after the flood.
We have committed to be in Texas for at least two years. That’s what it takes to Rebuild Hope for families and communities after a disaster like Hurricane Harvey. So that’s what we do; we stay until the job is done.
OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
Please donate today to help the thousands of families who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. All donations will be used to help victims recover and rebuild over the difficult weeks and months to come.