After Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in various parts of Texas, reports of thousands of people displaced by Harvey emerged on Sunday. That day, CNN shared a video of an elderly couple rescued by a volunteer named Austin Seth along with the network's correspondent Ed Lavandera and producer Jason Morris. It's a heartbreaking visual. With the bottom half of their Dickinson home submerged in water, the elderly couple and their pet dog seemed unmistakably shaken by the hurricane. The video offers a practical example of how you can help elderly flood victims affected by Hurricane Harvey.
It goes without mentioning that it is of utmost and immediate importance to be physically capable to help elderly victims of floods and hurricanes. As is evident in the CNN report, Seth, Lavandera, and Morris were all physically able to assist the elderly couple and their pup to the safety of Seth's flat boat. Without such bodily strength — which is needed for lifting a victim, helping them wade through water, balancing them onto the boat, and more — there is an extremely high risk of not only jeopardizing the life of an elderly person but also endangering yourself.
If you aren't able to physically rescue an elderly victim or if you don't have a flat boat, there's no reason to despair because there are other ways to help. Donations are a great place to start. Thousands of Texans right now need monetary help to get disaster relief. Chief of American Red Cross in Texas, Katrina Farmer, said, "Right now the best thing people can do is donate money. This is going to be an expensive disaster."
So if you are financially capable, you can donate to American Red Cross by calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also call The Salvation Army at 1-800-725-2769 to make a donation or help GlobalGiving's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund by texting HARVEY to 80100 to make a $10 donation. Organizations like Catholic Charities USA work on long-term recovery for victims hit by Hurricane Harvey, including elderly people.
Simple but heartwarming and assuring gestures like calling seniors at nursing homes or your own grandparents (if they live in Texas) can really help in terms of calming nerves down. Knowing that someone out there is thinking of you during such a calamitous time is a source of comfort and even healing.
Right now, with the destruction that Hurricane Harvey caused, Texans need all the help that they can get. The National Weather Service described Harvey as "unprecedented" in its devastating nature and added that its "impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced." The NWS also said that the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey is "catastrophic and life-threatening." Officials report five deaths due in the wake of Harvey, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, and expect that the death toll will rise given its severity.