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Icicles hang on the back of a vehicle Monday, Feb. A frigid blast of winter weather across the U. Boil water notices have been issued to residents of Houston and Austin, warning them to heat their water due to possible contamination from broken pipes, low water pressure, and offline treatment plants. Without access to power, and with ro across the state blocked off due to snow, Texans are relying on local assistance and help from their neighbors now more than ever. The past year has seen a proliferation of grassroots mutual aid groups across the U.
By now, most of the four million Texans who lost power during the extreme winter storm and subsequent blackouts have been able to turn the heat and lights back on.
How to help texans recover from the winter disaster
But roughlyare still shivering, and millions more have lost access to clean water. In the last week, one disaster has only led to the next: frozen water pipes burst and flooded homes; families attempting to keep warm suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning; store shelves went bare as people rushed to stock up on food and supplies; and those who let their pipes drip r an up water demand before citywide boil notices were put in place.
Though temperatures will rise this weekend, Texans across the state are still freezing, hungry, wet, and displaced.
H ere are some ways you can help out. Perhaps one of the best ways to offer aid is by donating to a mutual aid fund.
These grassroots organizations allow neighbors to support each other based on their individual needs. In Houston, the nonprofit West Street Recovery is working to clean out flooded homes and make other repairs. In Austin, Meals on Wheels has a home repair program for seniors, veterans, and those living with disabilities.
You can donate, up to volunteer, or apply on behalf of someone you know at this link. Your local Habitat for Humanity chapter may also have a similar programsuch as this one in Austin.
In Austin, residents can up to volunteer at cold-weather shelters, while those with four-by-four or off-road vehicles are encouraged to volunteer to help transport people and supplie s. Residents who have power and heat have opened up their homes to friends and neighbors without consistent energy, but Air bnb also has Open Homesa disaster relief program that allows people to offer their homes to strangers in need of emergency housing.
In San Marcos, Home Center is working to get unhoused people into motels in the area. The Coalition for the Homelessbased in Houston, also has a resource guide listing organizations helping those experiencing homelessness, including agencies accepting donations of coats, blankets, and other winter gear. Feeding Texas, a network of food banks across the state, is accepting donations t o help feed Texans and distribute clean drinking water through this crisis.
How to help texans during the winter storm crisis
Funky Town Frid g ewhich provides food to Fort Worth neighborhoods, is also accepting donations. CrowdSource Rescue is working to assist senior citize ns and could use volunteers and donations. Incarcerated people, whether in prisons, jails, or immigrant detention centers, are freezing through the winter storm, as many have been stuck in facilities with no electricity, decent food, or safe drinking water. You can donate to o rganizations such as the Texas Jail Projecta nonprofit organization raising funds for commissary and phone s of incarcerated people.
The Texas Inmate Families Associationwhich supports the relatives of those behind bars, could also use your help. Sea Turtle Inc. Animal shelters and rescue groups across the state have also struggled to keep homeless critters warm and fed.
Where to donate to help people in need during texas’ blackout crisis
President Joe Biden has approved an emergency declaration for the state, and hopefully the F ederal Emergency Management Agency FEMA will soon arrive with promised generators and supplies, as well as information on who qualifies for financial support from the federal government. In the mea n timethe Texas Division of Emergency Management has a map of warming centers across the state, and residents can also call to find the warming center nearest you. Y ou can request aid from many of the mutual aid organizations listed above, as well as from organizations such as the Texas NAACP.
Disaster Relief Assistance fund.
WhenWhereWhatAustin is keeping an updated spreheet of resources in the Austin area, including where people can get hot meals, water, and groceries. Note: The snow may be gone, but the recovery is just beginning for many Texas families.