We are currently witnessing a storm which none of us has ever seen in our lifetime. And people need help.
At a time like this, of course we want to help as many people as we can. It’s common to internalize your feelings and think “What would I do? With my disabled family member, what if I suddenly lost everything? Where would I go? What would I do?”
There is a group called Portlight and they specialize in assisting disabled people.
Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Hurricane Harvey Disability Hotline (800) 626-4959 has received over 100 urgent requests for assistance for people with disabilities and older adults. We’re working with TX government, FEMA and disability organizations from across the country to address the lifesaving needs of callers. We are rallying stakeholders by working together to help get people to safety, provide for any immediate needs they may have for disability related accommodations, durable medical equipment and other assistive technology, responding to evacuation and sheltering issues and problem-solving for a variety of immediate disability accessibility issues.
Portlight Strategies and the Partnership are providing technical assistance and guidance to prevent disaster survivors from being turned away from shelters, denied sign language interpreters, denied their civil rights, inappropriate institutionalization and experiencing many of the same issues as in past disasters.
You can always donate to the American Red Cross, but if you specifically want to assist people with disabilities, checkout Portlight.
And of course, please consider assisting Save the Children. This is what I received from them:
In one of the shelters in San Antonio, we met a family of 10 that was evacuated from their home. Allowed only one carry-on bag per person, they had no supplies for their 2-week-old baby — no crib, no way to bathe the baby or keep her safe.
Another family lost their home and all they owned. They used the last of their savings to get to San Antonio where the mom and dad and their two toddlers — both under 2 years old — were sharing two small cots.
With as many as 30,000 people displaced by catastrophic flooding, stories like these are being repeated over and over as more families, many with young children, are forced into shelters.
Save the Children is working around the clock to respond to children’s immediate needs. We’re distributing necessities like portable cribs, strollers and hygiene supplies and are working with the Red Cross and local partners to establish child-friendly spaces to keep children safe.