Hurricane Harvey & Houston Flood Victims: How to Get Help

Getty Volunteers and officers from the neighborhood security patrol help to rescue residents and their dogs in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood after it was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

In the wake of the utter devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, Texans are in dire need of help. Read on to find out what to do if you need assistance.

Call 911 With Life-Threatening Emergencies Only

First and foremost, it is important to note that officials are asking that 911 services be used at this time only for life-threatening emergencies. They are also urging the public to refrain from requesting rescues via social media pages. Per the Houston Fire Department:

Please, do not use the HFD (Houston Fire Department) social media accounts for rescue request. If you have a life-threatning emergency, 911 is the best way to capture your request and make sure it is properly dispatched. If you need help leaving your home due to high water, but you are otherwise safe, you can call 311 or the non-emergency HPD number at 713-884-3131. DO NOT contact 911 to check on the status of the weather, flooded roads, road closures, power outages or other non-emergency inquiries. These calls are delaying help to true emergencies.

Download the FEMA App

While FEMA is urging Texans to follow the instructions of local authorities, they also released the following information on how to get help via a press release:

Download the FEMA mobile app (in English and Spanish) for shelter information, disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. Residents in areas affected by this storm should use social media sites like Facebook or Twitter to reconnect with loved ones. Click here to download the app.

To date, FEMA pre-positioned the following commodities at the Gulf Coast Incident Support Base and staging areas in Texas and Louisiana: more than 490,000 liters of water; 524,000 meals; 20,500 tarps, and 60 generators. FEMA is providing around-the-clock staffing at its distribution center in Fort Worth, Texas, and is shipping additional commodities as necessary and requested.

FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are deployed to emergency operations centers (EOC) in Texas and Louisiana to support ongoing preparation and response efforts and to ensure there are no unmet needs from the states. Additional teams and staff from around the country continue deploying to the field.

For more information about Hurricane Harvey, including resources deployed and updated information, go to:

FEMA also released the following safety tips:

Don’t drive on flooded roadways. Remember – turn around, don’t drown.
If you are in a high rise building and need to shelter in place, go to the first or second floor hallways or interior rooms. You want to stay on floors above floodwater or storm surge, but do not go to the highest floors due to wind impacts.
If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in the center of a small interior room (closet, interior hallway) on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.

American Red Cross; Find Shelter & Locate Missing Loved Ones

You can locate a safe shelter through the American Red Cross by clicking here.

The American Red Cross also encourages individuals to list themselves as safe. Click here to fill out the form.

You may also search for a missing family member by clicking here.