Hurricane Harvey

Here again is a thread for info-sharing, updates, checking in, and sharing additional resources on how we can support those affected by the hurricane and flooding. As always, let's keep the thread image-free. Thanks.

As the slow-moving hurricane continues to cause flooding and displacement, there are increasingly concerns about where people can shelter from the storm. Megachurch manager Joel Osteen finally opened the doors of his place, after being publicly shamed; the Dallas Convention Center has been opened for people who are able to evacuate; and unlikely places like a furniture showroom have become temporary housing.

And where there is need, there is help. I have read a number of stories about people's goodness in these grim circumstances, like this piece by Emily Shugerman at the Independent: Muslim Youth Group Hits Streets to Help Houston Residents During Storm.
More than 100 members of Muslim Youth USA, and 40 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, passed out food, water, and other supplies in Houston, according to organisers. Both groups expect to gain more volunteers from surrounding cities when the roadways open up.

Madeel Abdullah, director of humanitarian affairs for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, said more than 700 members of his organisation have been affected by the storm. But the volunteers, he said, are "helping anybody else that's in distress."

"We've already provided basic supplies such as food items and water bottles," Mr Abdullah told The Independent, "and we have a few members who have boats who are going around making sure everyone is safe."

Both youth groups were assisted by Humanity First, an Ahmadiyya Muslim charity dedicated to disaster relief. First founded in England, the charity has expanded to more than 40 countries in the last 25 years.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community spokesman Qasim Rashid told The Independent the groups had mobilised both their local and national chapters before hurricane Harvey even began. They started sending volunteers into Houston neighbourhoods as early as Sunday – just two days after the storm first hit.

...It's a notable feat for a Muslim charity, in a year in which anti-Muslim hate crimes have spiked 91 per cent and the President has proposed a so-called "Muslim travel ban." But Mr Rashid said he's seen no drop-off in enthusiasm.

"If anything, it has had the opposite effect that people might think," he said of the current political climate. "If anything it's emboldened our youth to work even harder to exemplify what Islam means."
And this piece by Rory Carroll at the Guardian: 'It Is Beautiful': Volunteer Army Fans Out to Help Communities Flooded by Harvey.
Brown had left his own home 30 miles away, itself partially submerged, and driven through torrents to offer his boat and expertise to people in need.

Montalban felt the same compulsion and laboured for hours amid rising waters to deliver families, property, and pets to relatively dry land, where vehicles shuttled took them to shelters.

Luna, 25, turned up with her offering of an orange life vest, still with its price tag. "I was imagining there wasn't going to be any help. But there are so many people here."

Here was the America of the ideal: one nation, indivisible. A republic of citizens looking out for each other. No politics or polarisation. No fake news or social media bubbles. A crisis all could see, and a response all wanted to be part of.

How long would it last? Donald Trump was due in Texas on Tuesday so perhaps the clock was ticking. But for one day at least, there was unity among the rescuers and rescued, a coalition of races and income groups. And there was, remarkably, calm.
Yes, today Trump travels to the region to get a gander at the storm about whose historic grandiosity he's been boasting on Twitter like a sociopath.

Like it's an exciting trip. This fucking guy.

I can't imagine his bringing comfort to anyone. I just hope he doesn't make everything worse. But he probably will.

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