Harvey Flood Relief in Texas

by IsraAID
Harvey Flood Relief in Texas
Harvey Flood Relief in Texas
Harvey Flood Relief in Texas
Harvey Flood Relief in Texas
Harvey Flood Relief in Texas
Harvey Flood Relief in Texas
Harvey Flood Relief in Texas
Harvey Flood Relief in Texas

Weeks of wildfires razed communities in northern and southern California, burning close to 250,000 acres and causing thousands to evacuate their homes in October and November. Over 100 fatalities have been reported, with hundreds still missing. Many of those affected are living in temporary accommodation including tent cities, shelters, and cars.

IsraAID deployed its emergency response team from Houston to Chico, California in November to conduct a rapid needs assessment and provide support for displaced communities.

In partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of America, IsraAID is providing psychosocial support to children to teach new coping mechanisms to expand their emotional wellbeing toolbox and bolster their resiliency. Psychologists and social workers from California have joined the team on the ground, providing expertise and support through sessions with the children.

IsraAID's psychosocial support professionals are also working with service providers and first responders to ensure that their emotional needs are met. Self care workshops and processing sessions with police, firefighters, and municipality workers seeks to create a safe space for open communication and unpacking the emotional trauma of the fires, so that they can best support the community.

More updates to follow...

Thanks for your support!

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Hurricane Michael cleanup
Hurricane Michael cleanup

In Houston, IsraAID is continuing to pilot a new project to map community vulnerability to future disasters, and improve resiliency. Amid this work, two natural disasters have hit the US in the past month, to both of which, IsraAID has sent emergency response teams:

On 14th September, Hurricane Florence hit North and South Carolina. The hurricane, subsequently downgraded to a tropical depression, brought life-threatening storm surges and flash flooding. At least 53 fatalities were reported in the Carolinas after it made landfall, causing more than $38 billion of damage.

Then, on 10 October 2018, Hurricane Michael hit northwest Florida. The hurricane, which made landfall as category four, damaged and destroyed houses, hospitals, roads, and water systems across coastal communities located on the Florida panhandle, causing 29 fatalities. FEMA described Hurricane Michael as "one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall on the continental United States."

IsraAID currently has a team in North Carolina, working with US-based Team Rubicon – the international disaster response organization - focused on removing debris and restoring the homes of people forced to evacuate, following Hurricane Florence. The team is working to support residents of the affected areas in cleaning out their homes, sorting through salvagable belongings and those that need to be disposed of, and primarily, trying to help people return home!

"We feel so much better knowing they're here," commented Mike, a local homeowner who worked with the team on the ground. He and his wife have lived for many years in their home, located right on the water. Recently, he raised his house ten feet after it flooded several times in recent hurricanes, but despite this, it was still completely submerged as a result of Hurricane Florence. Mike is an active member of his community who worked for years as a firefighter as well as an instructor at the local fire academy; his son in law is also a firefighter and rescue diver, who lives nearby.

IsraAID has also mobilized an Emergency Response Team to Florida, which is currently conducting an initial assessment as well as beginning to assist vulnerable populations with debris removal.

Please support our efforts to respond to these crises.

North Carolina debris removal
North Carolina debris removal
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IsraAID has been working in Houston since Hurricane Harvey hit last year. As part of IsraAID’s ongoing response effort, we’ve dedicated ourselves in Houston and Harris County to a project helping to identify vulnerable populations and higher risk communities/households, as a priority for recovery and preparedness.

Using relevant and updated data regarding households in a community can lead to a more efficient, cost-effective and larger-scale recovery.

Two communities have been identified to be part of our pilot project, Gold Meadows in Houstonand Parkway Forest Home Association in Sheldon ISD, which is part of Harris County.

In the coming months, teams of data collectors, both from the community and outside of it, will conduct a social vulnerability assessment as developed by Tulane University and IsraAID. This assessment will feed-in to a larger model interlaying environmental hazards and physical structure vulnerability with the social vulnerability assessment, allowing us to assess vulnerability overall on a household-level.

This model will also paint a picture of a community resilience as a whole and help us to identify the gaps we have to address in order to increase it.

Building the capacity of the community to prepare and respond to events is a key element in community resilience. Once data collection and mapping are complete (around October), the situational analysis can direct plans and activities for future disasters.

These include pre-impact activities that establish a state of readiness to respond to an extreme event that could affect the community, which will be facilitated by IsraAID and local actors. In addition, the complete mapping would play a pivotal role in post-disaster activities as well.

We’re committed to building the strength and resilience of communities affected by Hurricane Harvey as they rebuild and grow. Thank you for your support!

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On August 25th, 2017, several towns in Texas were struck by Hurricane Harvey. The destruction was devastating. At least 68 people were killed in the downpour. 300,000 buildings were flooded. Those affected lost everything. Almost immediately, IsraAID dispatched an Emergency Response team, including first responders and mental health specialists. 

Following the first phase of IsraAID's response to Hurricane Harvey, IsraAID has decided to address needs that arose from the field work conducted over the course of the 4 months following the disaster. Our program in Houston is focusing on two main areas: Disaster Risk Reduction and Building Community Resilience.  

Disaster Risk Reduction

IsraAID, together with local academic partners, is designing a pilot program to address vulnerable populations in the community to reduce their overall risk prior to a disaster and deliver aid and resources more efficiently and quickly following one.

Mapping the Vulnerable Population Landscape is a data-driven program that maps three different crucial layers of communal data: environmental hazards, vulnerability of physical structures and social vulnerability. By combining all three at the household level, we're able to identify the most vulnerable households and address disaster mitigation, as well as being cost-efficient and prompt in delivering aid. Groundwork will commence soon in Harris County, with the aim of completing the analysis by the end of September.

Building Community Resilience

Communities in Agency is a project that aims to empower and train volunteer groups from community organizations to attain knowledge and capacity in response to disasters, in a comprehensive, holistic approach that takes into account everything from physical resources to mental health support.

By taking part in the training program, groups and individuals from the local community will:

  1. Gain a framework for understanding the context of disasters, which will enable both response and mobilization of local resources if an emergency happens in their community
  2. Receive informal trainings (for non-professionals) on the immediate emotional support and protection issues that disasters bring
  3. Create a community network of ‘disaster-conscious’ individuals and specialists that community groups and organizations can draw upon if disaster strikes

IsraAID’s training will focus on both theory and practical tools for a comprehensive approach when dealing with disasters. Training workshops will commence soon in the Braes Bayou area, with the intention of then expanding to other communities we work with in the Houston area.

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Clean up in Texas
Clean up in Texas

The debris removal and clean up efforts continued!

Four months after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, there were still many affected families in need.

IsraAID's Emergency Response team, together with partners Team Rubicon and a group of US veterans, spent November and December in East Downton, Houston. Before this, they had focused their efforts in Wharton, and the Bellaire and Meyerland area of West Houston. 

The volunteers worked house-by-house, stripping each flood-damaged building right down to its foundations, due to prolonged, extreme water and mold damage.

Harvey was the third time my house flooded; I was ready to give up on our home and our life in Beaumont…I just couldn't go on any more. Then out of the blue, on my front yard, a group from Israel came to my aid...thank you for helping me deal with this dire situation!” Mary, an elderly home owner from Beaumont, Texas, after the team completed the house.

On August 25th, Hurricane Harvey struck several towns in Texas.  The devastation was immense. The torrential downpour flooded homes and the affected lost everything.  IsraAID’s Emergency Response team distributed relief items and worked to remove debris, clean out and pack up the homes of uninsured, low-income, elderly and disabled residents. 

In total, together with partners Team Rubicon, the team assisted around 180 households, reaching approximately 540 direct beneficiaries.

Now the team is focusing on longer-term, community resilience-building and Disaster Risk Reduction planning, to help build and strengthen a local, community-based response to disasters.  

More updates to follow!

Debris removal down to the home's foundations!
Debris removal down to the home's foundations!
Destruction caused by flooding!
Destruction caused by flooding!
More clean up!
More clean up!
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Organization Information

IsraAID

Location: Tel Aviv, Merkaz - Israel
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IsraAID
Project Leader:
Navonel Glick
Tel Aviv, Merkaz Israel

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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