Two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast of Texas, devastating Houston and its surrounding areas. Personally, I have family in the area who weathered the storm, but the aftermath in putting their communities back together is a taxing challenge. My heart and prayers for relief goes out to my family as well as every single person in South Texas impacted by Harvey. My prayers also go out to those in the wake of Hurricane Irma this week.
As illustrated in the first Texas Farm Girl book, Texas Farm Girl knows firsthand how harsh weather can put life and hard work at a halt—not to mention how terrifying it can be. And having your home underwater is terrifying; some areas of South Texas have received a year’s worth of rainfall, transforming highways into rivers and upending life for farmers.
The heavy winds and excessive rain that comes with a hurricane is simply too much for any crop to endure. And harvested crops aren’t necessarily safe from harm either. Namely, cotton farmers’ harvest bundles have been especially vulnerable to the storm.
The damage will affect other parts of the U.S., too, as Texas farmers provide for large portion of the country. According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, the state exports nearly one-fourth of the country’s wheat and a significant portion of its corn and soybeans, but a shutdown of ports have halted export.
Additionally, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service reported at least 1.2 million beef cows graze in 54 counties affected by the storm. While there is no data on how many of these animals have been displaced, images of wandering cattle and rescue videos have circulated on social media.
How can we help?
The storm has passed, and it’s time for healing. Thankfully, there are many resources and programs set up so you can offer a helping hand to Harvey victims. Here are a few:
- hurricaneharveyrescue.org – Victims post location where immediate assistance is needed for those with rescue resources to come help
- Feeding Texas – Find your local food bank to donate food or money
- Airbnb – Open your home to disaster victims through their Disaster Relief Program
For Locals or Nonlocals
- Texas Farm Bureau – Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund for Agriculture
- State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund – Donate to help farmers and ranchers recover
- Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas – Donate to help displaced animals
- Portlight Strategies – Donate to help older adults and those with disabilities
- Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is accepting donations for flood victims