Stars Amidst the Storm
Hundreds pitch in to help neighbors during Hurricane Harvey
August 25 would mark the start of a long, stressful and ongoing period for Texas residents. Harvey had made its entrance - a long “awaited” one. There were 4,323 days between the last category 3 or higher hurricane - the last being Wilma in 2005. Harvey devastated many Houstonians - some left without power, some left without homes,and some left without their loved ones.
So, what happened to me in this time? I had quite the week. My mom who works at LBJ Hospital happened to be on the ride out team. What we thought would be one to three nights turned into a week of us not seeing each other or being at home. This leads up to me staying in Pasadena, Texas (30 min from downtown) with my aunt (Mitra Taforroji).
After the worst of Harvey had gone by, many residents came to sort and donate supplies. In the Pasadena/South Houston Area alone I saw about 200 to 300 people working together to sort supplies to be later shipped across South Texas in two locations. Some had worked from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Not many people would be willing to work for 12 hours for free, which shows how dedicated these people were. My aunt had later realized that these people were not given food so we headed back home to make soup for the volunteers and city workers.
Later on that day I was able to see the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force in the old City Hall building, where they had set up a makeshift hospital for locals. In one day they had around 70 patients - a lot for just a couple of beds and about 10 people working on staff. The TEMF is a recent state-funded deployable medical team. Many of these people came from the Dallas and San Antonio area to come and help Houstonians.
Despite all of Harvey’s damages, Texas did really live up to the phrase “Everything's bigger in Texas” - including people's hearts.
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