ShelterBox poised to aid Texas hurricane victims

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A typical scene in storm-ravaged Houston.

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has been activated to assess the need for emergency shelter in Houston and other nearby storm-impacted areas, including Louisiana, according to Sarah Robinson, director of fundraising and strategic partnerships for ShelterBox USA.

Bruce Heller, a Texas-based SRT member, said he is devastated to see so much of  Texas under water.

“As a Rotarian and a ShelterBox Response Team Member I am proud to be able to respond in my home state of Texas where so many are suffering as a result of this storm. As people of action, the best thing Rotarians can do to help in moments like these is to lend support to trusted partners, like ShelterBox, who are experienced in disaster response and who can make sure aid is being allocated appropriately, where need is greatest.”

Robinson said, “What our team is finding is that, given the level of flooding encountered, our soft-sided ShelterBox tents offer a more viable solution at this time than our ShelterKits or Standard Relief Tents, and they are being considered for a ‘shelter-in-shelter’ system we’ve previously used in similar situations, such as the tsunami in Japan.

“These tents within an evacuation center would offer families a private space to help preserve dignity, security, and aid in the recovery process, particularly where extended stays are likely.

“ShelterBox is staging these tents, along with school kits and blankets, in a Dallas warehouse as it communicates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state agencies to determine urgent shelter and aid needs in the hurricane-devastated region.”

ShelterBox USA has launched a designated fund in support: the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. And, 100% of all donations received will support all associated deployment costs with the ShelterBox response to Harvey.

Should ShelterBox USA raise funds in excess of what’s needed to respond to this particular crisis, the funds will be allocated to its “Deployment Essentials’” fund that provides support for all costs associated with ShelterBox worldwide deployments, including but not limited to, lifesaving equipment, response teams, transportation and collaboration with local or international partners.

ShelterBox relies on donations to do the disaster relief work around the world and here in the U.S. Rotarian support will help ensure more aid for those in Texas who are most in need. For information on how to make tax-deductible donations most effectively, please contact Bill Dowd, Southern Rensselaer County Rotary’s liaison officer for ShelterBox.

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