Hurricane Harvey has ravaged Texas and has left people from all over the world staring in disbelief at what many consider irreparable damage to homes, livestock and lives. It is important to note the effects of hurricanes, the losses it causes and also what can be done to assist.

Providing a place of shelter

Hurricane victims will need to have places of shelter that they can get to safely. It is more than likely that people’s houses, particularly those in low-lying areas will be affected. There has been a buzz on social media sites, particularly surrounding the immediate lack of Joel Osteen’s opening of his mega church to those in need.

If people feel they have somewhere to turn to in advance, then they may be able to mobilize their families faster if they head in that direction. Media houses and politicians alike should use their influence to promote these places of shelter.

Donating clean underwear

Depending on the nature of the hurricane, such as Harvey, people may not have time to prepare to gather as many items of clothing as they need. One may not know how long they will be away from their homes. The Austin Disaster Relief Network(ADRN) lists toiletries as needed supplies. Therefore, a list of things to donate would be clean underwear, t-shirts and personal hygiene products to people affected. Having these things in stock at the emergency shelters will ease the burden of families having to desperately seek out these things while they wait out a storm in a shelter.

It will also keep their dignity intact. They will already be going through a terrible time physically, so it's nice to help them out emotionally. The ADRN also tends to the survivors’ emotional and spiritual needs.

Donating blood

You never know what accidents may happen during a hurricane and some people may need blood for surgeries if they were in some serious problems.

Find out if you are a good candidate for a blood donor and donate as soon as you can. You can help to save a life. While you are donating blood, ask about becoming a volunteer so you can be on standby if needed.

Education about flood insurance

It is important for people to have flood insurance so that when these disasters strike, the head of the households will have somewhere to go to and collect funds to repair.

This insurance will help ease their mind a bit. Yes, their houses would be flood ravaged, and they will need to throw away damaged appliances, but at least they will have insurance. Community leaders should hold yearly events that educate home owners, well in advance of hurricane season, so those who do not have can receive. It is reported that more than 400,000 people in Texas are insured through the National Flood Insurance Program which is not regulated by the state, so they should not have to worry about laws that are changing.

Losing valuable household items is sad but losing your life is worse so it is best to ensure you and your family can indeed weather the storm to the best of your ability. Make friends with your neighbors and have emergency contacts on standby, just in case you will need them.