Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, etc…

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, etc…

We’ll be updating this page when we have more information. Things are still quite uncertain on the ground, because most of the local groups are small, and don’t yet have room to warehouse/distribute all the necessary cleanup goods. More soon!

 

Friday 9/8 Update: Like most of you, no doubt, we are extremely apprehensive about Hurricane Irma’s potential landfall this weekend in Florida; the possibilities seem truly mind-boggling. Meanwhile, though, it has already devastated Caribbean islands, most of all Barbuda. Please donate if you can; all donations will be matched. 

Thursday, August 31: Tejas would now like the donations to go through the Climate Justice Alliance (I’ve changed the links below). Please donate!

Monday 8/28: Things continue to be confused and difficult on the ground: organizers in Houston think that the number of displaced folks is being greatly underestimated. Given the difficulty of getting administrative work done under these circumstances, the local EJ groups have agreed that the group they trust to use and distribute funds fairly is Tejas….so please donate to Tejas now! If you want to support a wider range of groups, you can also support the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund or the frontline-to-frontline groups listed here.

Sunday, 8/27: Things are dire in Houston–more than 25″ of rain already in some places, and as much as that expected again in the next few days. The storm is now officially forecast to be the worst disaster ever in Texas. The fears of folks on the ground are wide-ranging: immediate safety is first, of course, but there’s also the fear of toxic waste (the odor of toxic gases released by one of the refineries last night was said to be overwhelming); the displacement of low-income and otherwise vulnerable folks due to the inundation of their homes (which may thereby be made unlivable) and predatory behavior by developers; and the importation of nearly enslaved workers from other countries, as happened during Katrina. Organizers are looking for hazmat suits, rubber gloves, rubber boots, ear plugs, coolers, and ice. If you can work with friends to coordinate a delivery of any of these to Tejas, please contact Emily (their communications ability is sporadic, so I want to make sure before things are sent that they’re still what’s needed). Financial donations are still being sorted out among the coalition of environmental groups there–they promise to have information (and probably an online donation page) on Monday’s call, so I’ll update when that’s in. I also have an email and call in to Rapido, which has been set up specifically to help rebuild something temporary & livable, fast, so people can live on their own property, and not sell it to predatory buyers–it’s not clear if they take donations, but if they do, they’ll be on the list for sure.

Saturday, 8/26: Today’s call with the Texas & Gulf Coast environmental justice leaders was smaller; no one from the most impacted areas was on, and the moderator indicated that this was probably because both cell service and power are out (even emergency services have limited cell service); there’s already been over 15″ of rain.  It’s expected that up to 4 million people might be without power in coming days. In addition to the strong concerns about immediate risk to vulnerable people, folks on the call  were concerned about the San Miguel and Coleta Creek coal facilities, which have open coal pits/piles, vulnerable to flooding, that are likely to badly contaminate water. They’re also concerned about the refinery in Rockport (where the hurricane made landfall), and about legacy (closed) sites subject to Superfund and RCRA; this region is home to many, many toxic waste sites, and the flooding is likely to cause profound and possibly catastrophic impacts as a result.

We’re still waiting on the links for the best places to donate–due to the power and cell outages, everything is slower than usual, and of course the people on the ground are very, very busy simply trying to do all they can. We’ll update as soon as we know more!

 

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