Many thanks to everyone for reaching out to us after Friday’s double setback–the death of our kitten, Ochi, and our evacuation from Hurricane Harvey. We spent three nights with our pets at a local La Quinta with people–and many, many pets–who evacuated from the Texas coast and, just as we were leaving Monday, from Houston.
We returned home to find no more damage than a few limbs down here and there; we were so fortunate. The disaster declaration begins in the next county and continues to the coast and, to the east, beyond Houston.
In a disaster of this magnitude–and one that is still ongoing–it’s tough to know how to help. Here are some resources for ways you can help the people and the pets impacted by this horrific storm.
Help Austin Pets Alive
Austin Pets Alive is working to help homeless pets who were in the care of the animal shelters that had to evacuate. These animals–over 400 so far and probably 1000+ by the end of the week–have been brought to Austin. We know from first-hand experience that this is an excellent organization (we adopted both Lucky and Ochi from this rescue). We’ll be donating to this rescue and taking supplies to them as well. Here’s a special Harvey page they have set up with information on donations of cash and supplies as well as fostering. They update this page frequently as their needs change.
Shop and Donate Online
Here are just a handful of the ways you can help the people impacted by the storm:
- The TODAY Show has a roundup of many charities that have created Amazon Wishlists of the items they need right now.
- Numerous food banks are seeking cash donations to help victims in both Houston and the Coastal Bend.
- Facebook is matching Harvey donations up to $1 million raised by users.
Remember Texas in Your Travel Plans
From years of covering Caribbean islands hit by devastating hurricanes, I know firsthand that one of the best ways–and the most fun!–everyone can help is to remember these destinations in future travel plans. While the devastation left by these storms lasts a long time, sadly the images of that horrific damage linger even longer in the minds of travelers.
This storm demolished some of our favorite beach destinations–Port Aransas, Rockport, and Port Lavaca. Houston, the home base for a travel book we just completed, will be years in cleanup efforts. And, closer to home, small towns like La Grange and Smithville are dealing with record river flooding.
These towns will need help for years to come not only to repair but to get back to where they were in terms of tourism dollars. Please be sure to keep them in your thoughts in the coming months and years if your travels should bring you to Texas. We’ll be looking forward to covering these dog-friendly destinations once again as soon as we can and bringing you updates! In the meantime, here’s a before and after look at just a couple of our many favorite getaways that were impacted by the storm. We look forward to visiting each and every one of them again.
Everyone who visited Port Aransas probably has a photo of at least one of the huge “sharks” found in front of the community’s souvenir shops.
— Jane Caffrey (@janecaffrey) August 28, 2017
The Rockport Aquarium was one of the few dog-friendly aquariums in the country.