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Hurricane Harvey: The Best of Humanity on Display

T he rain kept coming; bayous swelled, streets became impassable, and there was no end in sight. The forecast predicted at least 52 inches of rain. The city was saturated and the rain had nowhere to go. As the rain breached homes, residents immediately attempted to lift important artifacts to higher ground. As the floodwaters rose, residents retreated to higher levels, attics, or roofs, and many residents opened their homes to neighbors. Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, was in survival mode. Time moved at a glacial pace; the rain needed to stop or the city would be no more.

As the rain finally began to taper off, hundreds — if not thousands — of residents were trapped in their homes, and despite the rain subsiding, water in some areas continued to rise. Even with the best efforts from the city of Houston, the Coast Guard, and other government entities, there were too many people in need of rescue. As the country got wind of the predicament, volunteers from near and far began to mobilize. Owners of boats, kayaks, and canoes headed to flooded areas to assist in the rescue efforts.

While rescue efforts were underway, thousands of displaced Houstonians trekked to area shelters, which welcomed them with open arms. The shelters provided not only a safe, dry place for members of the Houston community; they also offered much needed services, from FEMA to legal services to accounting. Numerous ACC Houston Chapter members also travelled to shelters in order to provide pro bono legal advice and guidance.

As the days and weeks pass and Houston begins the difficult task of drying out, assessing the damage, and moving on, the support provided to our community has been nothing less than remarkable — millions of dollars have been raised, and tons of supplies have been shipped and received. In the weeks since Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas Gulf-Coast, ACC Houston members have volunteered hundreds of hours providing pro bono legal advice to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, partnered with members of Houston City Council to canvass and assist heavily hit low income communities, and helped homeowners with demolition efforts.

Thank you is not enough, but thank you is all we have at this moment. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all of your thoughts, kind words, and contributions. The best of humanity has definitely been on display in aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

For more information on how you can offer your support, as well as links to important resources, visit the Houston Chapter’s website.

About the Author

Lauren HallerLauren Haller is legal counsel at Hess Corporation, where she supports the Global Supply Chain organization. Prior to joining Hess, Haller was technology and intellectual property counsel at ConocoPhillips Company. She is the director of the ACC Houston chapter.

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