How to help flood victims of Highland Lakes flooding of October 2018

disaster relief volunteers

It’s time to make those clean-up buckets again. But first, a re-fresher for everyone about disaster-relief giving and volunteering.

Before you set off to be a part of the rescue effort, please make sure you understand why it’s so important to be trained and coordinated. The last thing you want to become is a victim yourself.

Also remember, it’s so much better to give money than stuff. Watch – and share – this video to remind yourself why. If you still want to give stuff, give only the specific items requested. Again, don’t give a burden.

One more thing: Right now, your help is important. But disaster relief lasts at least a year, sometimes longer, and often families affected are forgotten while their needs continue. Don’t forget to support all the stages of disaster relief now. 

While floods continue to threaten residents of almost 20 counties in the Texas Hill Country, many homeowners are already beginning the long-haul work of clean-up. And those supplies are used-up quickly as you might guess, considering that the area is currently experiencing some of the worst floods in history.

Austin-area disaster-relief agencies are back at work helping families and their pets survive and recover from the recent Hill Country flooding that affected the Highland Lakes area.

Want to donate to provide housing, shelter, basic needs?

Austin Disaster Relief Network is accepting donations of supplies and goods at its Heatherwilde Warehouse in Pflugerville and its 51st St headquarters in Austin. Specifically, they’re looking for clean-up buckets with supplies like rubber gloves, all-purpose cleaner, sponges, brushes, and the like; survivor supplies like underwear, box fans, and diapers; and survivor care kit backpacks that contain items like washcloths, shampoo, blankets, toothpaste, and similar personal items. Click here to see details of drop-off locations and items needed.

You can also go online to buy and have delivered exactly what’s on the list via a site called RightGift. It’s convenient for the donor and the receiver.

First United Methodist Church in Marble Falls is also looking for donations of clean-up buckets and supplies. Specifically, they’re seeking bottle water and Gatorade, cleaning supplies, clean-up tools like shovels, work gloves, and fans; commercial-sized garbage bags, and gift cards to Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and H-E-B. Learn more on the Facebook page here.

Catholic Charities of Central Texas is seeking monetary donations online and by mail, as well as volunteers. Its site also has a lists of shelters currently in operation, from Llano to Marble Falls, Horseshore Bay, an Granite Shores.

American Red Cross Serving Central and West Texas is collecting donations to help with the immediate needs of families affected by the flooding. You can donate $10 by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

Want to volunteer to help with clean-up and recovery?

Austin Disaster Relief Network trains volunteer to help provide critical assistance. Volunteers must attend a mandatory orientation, then choose from a variety of training opportunities and dates.

First Baptist Church of Marble Falls is conducting clean-ups and has need for supplies. Learn more on their Facebook page. 

The Greater Austin Muslim Relief Committee is collecting clean-up supplies this week. Learn more on their Facebook page.

Want to help care for pets affected by the flooding?

Austin Pets Alive is looking for emergency fosters in case more flood gates are opened. When families are displaced by disaster and have to find temporary housing, often their pets can’t come with them. That’s why you’re needed to help provide a temporary home for pets in the shelter, to make room for these displaced pets. Interested volunteers can learn more here. 

Want to help provide housing?

If you own a host property listed on Airbnb, you can sign up to participate in the Open Homes Program, which allows evacuees and relief workers to rent your property for free, with Airbnb waving its fees as well. So far, almost 150 hosts have signed up.

PHOTO: Volunteers from Spirit 105.9 helped take in and organize donations for flood vicitms.


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