This post is being updated as more information becomes available.
Two disabled people were among a group stranded on a rooftop in Houston; I watched their rescue on CNN late last night. Portlight, a nonprofit that facilitates projects for people with disabilities, reports hearing from people being turned away from shelters and denied sign language interpreters, "many of the same issues we've heard throughout past disasters," the site notes.
There are not enough first responders. The usual infrastructure for emergency relief isn't functioning. One man in Aransas Pass, the father of a 40-year-old man with disabilities, told The Denver Post that his son is on his town's list of residents who need help with evacuations; nobody came for him.
Natural disasters can pose extra challenges for families of children with disabilities and people with disability. Here are some resources for children and adults with disabilities and medical needs, whether you or your family need help or want to donate money, supplies or otherwise pitch in:
The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies has a hotline at 800-626-4959 to help get people with disabilities and elderly people to safety, provide for immediate needs for durable medical equipment and other assistive technology, and problem-solve other disability accessibility issues. Find them on Facebook here. Its partner is Portlight, a longtime provider of relief to people with disabilities during disasters (they accept donations via PayPal).
The Little Lobbyists is collecting supplies for children with complex medical needs impacted by Harvey. They've partnered with Trach Mommas of Louisiana, Protect TX Fragile Kids, The Parker Lee Project, Advocates for Medically Fragile Kids NC and Moms of Trach Babies to help. You can ship supplies to Texas at the following address; please include an itemized list of supplies, which must be unopened, unused and not expired:
The Parker Lee Project
ATTN: Harvey supplies
1810 S Kaufman St #204
Ennis, TX 75119
You can also drop off supplies in Texas and Louisiana, by appointment; see the website for more information, which is updated frequently. Or you can make a monetary contribution via PayPal to email@example.com.
AAC Relief is helping individuals and family members who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication. You can request assistance here. You can also send supplies.
Unlocking Autism is providing grants to families living with autism who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey; priority is extended to families who are displaced. You can apply here. The nonprofit is accepting donations here.
Insulin For Life, which partners with major organizations including the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, is collecting diabetes-related supplies to distribute. The nonprofit is also accepting donations to fund its work.
The Texas Diaper Bank supports the needs of babies, children with disabilities and vulnerable senior citizens (diapers are often not available at emergency shelters). You can contribute to their Amazon Disaster Relief Diaper Wish List.
Autism Rescue Angels provides funding for families having a hard time paying for care associated with emergency medical needs, among other ones. The nonprofit is accepting donations.
Airbnb has a list of people who are opening their homes free to Texas residents in need between now and September 25; here's the page where people can find a place to stay, or you can offer yours.
Check the Facebook page of Disability Rights Texas for other resources.
Need a listening ear? Call the Disaster Distress Hotline, which provides 24/7 crisis counseling year-round for people experiencing emotional distress due to natural or human-caused disasters: 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
Other key organizations that are providing general relief:
The American Red Cross: Check their map of shelters to find housing, or call 1-800-733-2767. To donate: text "Harvey" to 90999 to make a $10 donation, give online or call 1-800-733-2767. If you can safely reach a shelter in Texas or can remotely interpret through video and wish to volunteer your time and skill to the Red Cross, text the Disability Integration Coordinator at 469-858-1574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org—again, email or text only.
Catholic Charities USA: The official domestic relief agency of the U.S. Catholic Church provides immediate relief in the form of cash assistance, food, water, personal care supplies, cleaning materials and other needed items. Here is a list of their Texas locations:
• Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston, 713-526-4611
• Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas, 409-924-4400
• Catholic Charities of Central Texas, 512-651-6100
• Catholic Charities East Texas, 903-258-9492
• Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, 361-884-0651
To donate to Catholic Charities USA: You can contribute here.
Here is a relief map to find resources and aid, shelter and volunteer opportunities.
Direct Relief: Runs the largest charitable medicine program in the U.S., providing prescription drugs and other medical supplies to clinics. You can make a contribution here. Americares also provides emergency medicine and supplies; you can donate here.
Global Giving: Donate to to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund here.
The Jewish Federations of North America: It's started a relief fund here.
Save the Children: Text "hurricane" to 20222 to make a $25 donation, or give online here.
Send Relief and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief: You can donate here.
South Texas Blood and Tissue Center: For those living in the south Texas area, you can schedule a time to donate on the group's website, or call 210-731-5590.
Here is a list of food banks that will need donations to fund them.
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