Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey came in like a force, with a sweeping flood over my favorite city, my hometown, Houston. As a Native Houstonian, the love I have for my city knows no bounds. As someone who visits regularly to see all of my family, extended family, and many of my friends, it has been devastating to watch. I had just left Houston a few days before Hurricane Harvey ravaged through, and the weather was so divine for 10 days straight that I considered leaving my career in NYC and taking a pause back home. After living away for years, home is still the place I can rest, get clarity, and be myself the most, all while basking in the heat I live for and thrive in so much!

The weekend that Hurricane Harvey hit, I was scheduled to return, and those plans changed quickly by Wednesday when things went left. On Friday, some of Houston really experienced the true definition of “The calm before the storm” because it was silent, with no rain in some places…then within minutes, there were sudden tornadoes and immense rainfall—a downpour of almost a year’s worth of rainfall in mere days.

Houstonians are resilient—in fact, we are built below sea level—so we are accustomed to flooding and no strangers to hurricanes. Ike was bad, terrible even, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the devastation that is happening now. Being away from everyone that I love and some of the people that I am closest to in their time of need, no matter how significant their damage, is one of the most challenging things I have experienced as an adult. Being a Texas native, I feel so much for the city that raised me, but even my emotional unrest is nothing compared to those living through one of the most unreal natural disasters. Nothing compares to their heartache, mental turmoil, sleep deprived nights, fear of the unknown, being confined to their house for an unforeseen amount of time, or losing everything. I never would’ve imagined that a storm of this magnitude would bring the city to its knees. Even in the wake of the damage that so many people are experiencing, I have never been more proud to be a Houstonian. I am so grateful to everyone who is rallying. So many of my close friends have reached out and asked what they can do. In short: send resources and donate. Food, clothes, money, shoes, toiletries and volunteer time are all some of the ways you can contribute. Everyone I have talked to says that resources will be the most helpful, especially once the rain ceases and families try to rebuild their lives.

Here are a few links with ways you can contribute:

http://www.redcross.org/hp/harvey2

https://www.hands.org/texas-hurricane-response/

https://foundationbeyondbelief.org/hurricane-harvey-drive/

https://ghcfdisaster.kimbia.com/hurricaneharveyrelieffund

http://www.houstonpress.com/restaurants/texas-food-banks-mobilize-for-hurricane-harvey-how-you-can-help-9735249

https://www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053

It may take months, even years, but we will bounce back from this. To all of those who lost everything, either due to flooding or tornadoes, I have no words except I am sorry and I feel for you. All I can do is show my love with actions and help be a part of the rebuilding process, one way or another.

Written by: Kay-B B.K.A. Bibi G.