By Danielle Caci

With only about two and a half months left of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, the United States has already been hit by two category four hurricanes, Harvey and Irma. These brought Texas and Florida excessive amounts of rain and aggressive winds causing massive evacuations of citizens. However, some citizens chose to stay put and brace for impact. Furthermore, recovery has begun and all hands are on deck.

Harvey brought extreme amounts of rain to Houston and its surrounding towns on Friday, August 25th, along with 130 mph winds. Once the storm took its course throughout the week, the affected cities were totaling more than 19 trillion gallons of rain water, as stated on The Weather Channel. According to the American Red Cross, 30,000 + people remained in shelters across Texas when the flooding was at its worst. Likewise, the Washington Post published an article stating that “about 21,000 households are living in 2,000 hotels in 33 states, according to Tony Robinson, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s regional director.” Additionally, as of September 14th, the number of deaths from the disaster increased to 82.

Florida and the Caribbean Islands were struck on Tuesday, September 5th, by Hurricane Irma. In an article in the Washington Post, it was stated that Irma was a category four hurricane that weakened by Monday, September 11th, to a tropical storm. The damage however, caused devastation that will last far beyond the duration of the storm. CBS This Morning also revealed that Irma has left 6.8 million people without electricity as of September 14th, and 13,000 people are still in shelters. Additionally, residents have been without running water, power, and ways to communicate since Sunday. Moreover, the death toll is at 69 people from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, the British Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean Islands.

Yet, the nation has banned together to help the victims of both Harvey and Irma through donations, cleanup organizations, and emergency aid. According to the Washington Post, Congress has approved $15 billion to those in Texas, and $135 million to Houston and Harris Counties to help with removing debris. In addition, the Texas Department of Public Safety said 116,000 people received aid from the Red Cross, totaling $46.6 million. Furthermore, a telethon, “Hand in Hand,” was held on Tuesday evening, and it raised $44 million for recovery from both Harvey and Irma, as stated by CBS News. Likewise, the Caribbean received almost immediate aid by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, which helps towards supplies, funding disaster relief teams, and information and health services for surrounding areas.

Annamarya Scaccia listed this fund under her article about children’s organizations to donate to on Romper.com. Donations and aid of any kind are still very much needed by the hurricane victims, and there are endless ways to contribute. Organizations that are open to donations include but are not limited to the Red Cross, All Hands Volunteers, and AmeriCares. One organization that has gained support is the Hurricane Harvey Response Campaign, on givehands.org. They stated on their website that they, “feel a close connection to the people there

because we know so many of them. Our hearts go out to them.” In addition to donating money, supplies such as toiletries, diapers, medicines, and underwear are essential, but often overlooked. Therefore, an organization titled Undies for Everyone takes donations for underwear purchases for Houston.

The path to recovery is a long road ahead, and thousands of lives have certainly been destroyed. However, Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean Islands are taking it day by day and staying hopeful. Help is only a click away, and the victims are forever grateful for the overwhelming support.

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