As Houston and parts of southeastern Texas struggle to recover from catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, the first category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2005, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy has announced the creation of the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund.
Although significant rainfall from the storm is predicted to continue through Wednesday, with upwards of fifty inches possible in some areas, charities and foundations have already begun to mobilize resources to assist the region, where several million people are thought to have been affected. In Houston, water from reservoirs swollen by rain from the storm was released early Monday, National Public Radio reports, a move that was expected to add to the region's woes — but one that the Army Corps of Engineers said was needed to limit the scope of a disaster that is on track to be one of the most expensive in U.S. history. Indeed, the state faces a multibillion-dollar rebuilding effort that could affect its fiscal situation for a generation, the New York Times reports. "We're setting up and gearing up for the next couple of years," Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said on CNN's State of the Union program on Sunday.
In response to the disaster, several major companies, including Home Depot, Cheniere Energy, Walmart, and PepsiCo, have announced initial commitments of $1 million each to recovery efforts, with many others expected to follow suit. "Our hearts and full support go out to our communities, customers, and associates that are being impacted by Hurricane Harvey," said Shannon Gerber, executive director of the Home Depot Foundation. "The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot volunteers will work alongside our disaster relief partners to assist the people and areas impacted by this catastrophic storm."
In the storm-ravaged region itself, the Greater Houston Community Foundation announced on Monday that the city was establishing a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the foundation to help victims of the flooding, while the Dallas Foundation announced over the weekend that it had created a Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund in support of recovery efforts.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Council on Foundations will co-host a webinar on August 29, at 3:30 EST, featuring Renee Barrios of the Greater Houston Community Foundation, Damian Morales of the OneStar Foundation, and Michael Riedy of FEMA, to discuss the allocation and timing of resources — human, financial, and technical — needed to assist communities affected by the storm.
(Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)