HOUSTON, TX - We want the rain to go away, but it looks like the weather has other plans for Houston. Thousands of residents have been affected by the Tax Day Flood. Their houses destroyed, their furniture gone, their savings evaporated once again.
"It's pretty bad, and the fact that it happened 11 months after the last flood is what's most devastating of all" said Southwest Houston home-owner Steve Bunin. "On Monday morning I was in a raft, trying to help people get to safety. What do they need? People are gonna need laundry done, lots of furniture obviously."
One may add cleaning supplies, food, clothing, gift cards from supermarkets and hardware stores; volunteers to move stuff out and around. In moments like these, neighbors want to help. But it's not always clear how or where.
"You can donate money to any of the many organizations in town, whether it's the United Way, the American Red Cross or the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston," explained Linda Burger, CEO of Jewish Family Service. "All nonprofits are working hard to get resources to people."
There's another website - houstonfloodrecovery.org - where you can donate. But since we're talking about money, beware of online scams.
"You should only donate to organizations that are known, 501c3s that have a track record and you can find information about them on their websites," warned Burger.
And don't fall for the crooks who knock on your door pretending to be contractors.
"Be sure you have already called your insurance company," she said. "Be sure that you're using vendors that they recommend."
Sadly, it seems that we're all becoming experts in dealing with the aftermath of floods. It's about time we started looking for ways to prevent them.