USA: Assisting in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
In August, the biggest storm to hit the US mainland in 13 years arrived on the Texas coast. Hurricane Harvey caused unprecedented flooding in Houston, USA, the nations forth largest city as well as the surrounding areas. With winds of up to 132mph, many homes were devastated and thousands of people were left without shelter, electricity and food.
During the crisis, Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) and the National Council worked with local communities to provide relief in the immediate aftermath of the category 3 tropical storm.
Due to the high flood waters, many people were trapped in their homes, unable to escape to safety. Volunteers assisted in the safe evacuation of people from their homes, and escorted them to protected shelters. During the immediate relief efforts, over 1,000 people were settled into temporary homes or shelters. Essential food supplies were delivered to over 2,500 people and emotional support was offered to the victims of this natural disaster.
As the storm continued to show it’s force, FOCUS used the strength of its communication network to keep the affected communities informed about the changing weather patterns, road closures, evacuation zones and routes for evacuation.
The Jamat had been well equipped through FOCUS and Council guidance, but the scale of this storm was beyond anyone’s expectations. Shahin Karim, Chairperson, FOCUS USA said “Preparedness played a critical role in reducing the impact on the Jamat and it remains a critical component in building resilient communities”.