I sit here writing looking out my window to beautiful sunshine, thinking back to this time last week we were surrounded by purple-grey skies and the entire city pockets of islands and most areas under water. My heart aches thinking back to what has happened here only a short 5 days ago. You never think something of this capacity could happen in your own backyard – in your own hometown. These past few days of recovery – flooring, carpets and the damaged furniture left on the sides of the road, the stench the filthy waters left behind (a minor yet equally large and disgusting side effect), over 500,000 vehicles damaged, thousands of damaged homes and thousands upon thousands of displaced people and pets – making this one of the costliest disasters in U.S. and certainly the costliest in Texas history.

But the love that this city, and this entire STATE has shown the world, brings me to (the happiest of) tears. People of different colors, sexual orientations, and political affiliations coming together to bring complete strangers into their homes as an escape from the rain and rising waters, if they had a boat – helped evacuate people without discrimination. We, as Texans, have shown the rest of the country and the rest of the world what it means to be truly united and what unification can accomplish.

Not only did Texans show their truest colors in the midst of the most chaotic part of this disaster, but we continue to show our pride and our love for our neighbors through this time by donating our time and our money to help those who continue to be in need.

If you’re reading this from a different city or a different state or even a different country – there are things you can do to help! The easiest being texting Harvey to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross. This can help all Texans, especially those in Port Aransas, Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and Beaumont who’ve also endured some of the worst aftermath of this awful storm. But if you’re wanting to keep the donations local, here are a few of my suggestions :

  • Donate to the Houston SPCA  or Houston PetSet – the Houston SPCA is a huge help to this city’s displaced and stray animals, and there’s no doubt that plenty of four legged creatures are as in much need as their humans!
  • Starting out with a goal of $200,000, the Texans mega-star and heart throb, JJ Watt has now raised over $18 MILLION. And we know this will go to helping those in our own backyard. If you’re interested in seeing how much this charity can raise – go to the Houston Flood Relief Fund and donate whatever you can!
  • Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund – an online donation portal through the City of Houston
  • Donate to the Houston Diaper Bank – babies are expensive, and we KNOW that they need diapers on diapers on diapers. Lend a helping hand by donating to this fund or pick up a few packs of diapers on your way to a shelter (dont forget tampons and pads as well!). These little absorbing tools mean more to so many people than we could imagine.
  • Donate clothing, blankets, towels, personal hygiene products, cleaning products, and non-perishable food items to plenty of different places – especially food to the Houston Food Bank. But so many places are over capacity of items that have been donated, check out Swamplot to see the donation centers in your area and what they are accepting and what they are in need of
  • VOLUNTEER – at this point, shelters have also reached capacity to how many volunteers they are accepting, but there are so many more people that could use the help to clear out their flooded homes and businesses. Swamplot is also a great resource to see who could use volunteers to help clear out aforementioned homes and businesses!
  • There are also plenty of small businesses and other companies who are donating all their proceeds to local charities just by hitting “Add to Cart”. Snag some dope AF Houston/Texas swag and give to a good cause by checking out the following tshirts :

With so many ways to help – if I wasn’t proud to be a Texan before, there are so many reasons that Texas is, and always will be the greatest State in the Union.

You may all go to hell, I will go to Texas

  • Davy Crockett

xoxo,

The Glam Greek

Well… It’s been quite the eventful week. Which is great for being the week back from Greece, since it keeps my mind off my broken heart. But never had I had a hurricane to distract me from the “Back from the Motherland Blues”.

For my readers from other parts of the country, and my international readers as well who may be seeing Texas and this huge storm on the news – here’s the thing about hurricanes:

  • They’re unpredictable.
    • From the moment they form off the coast of Africa; they can dissipate, they can gain strength, they can go any which way. And even when they’re in the gulf and threatening our well-being, they can even break apart and become nothing as it makes landfall.
  • Once they’re in the Gulf and they start gaining strength, there’s little time for truly adequate preparation
  • Each hurricane season is different
    • you can have 3 named storms or you can get 16. All 3 could make landfall and all 16 could never come near land
  • There are Tropical Storms and there are Hurricanes
    • Storms become hurricanes based on their wind speeds but both are storms fueled by warm tropical waters and can pack a mean punch in terms of wind, rain, storm surge and tornadoes
  • The east side of the storm is the worst, packing the brunt of the winds and rain

Here’s the thing about THIS hurricane :

  • we haven’t had a named storm this large in the Gulf of Mexico posing itself as an actual threat to the coast in about TEN years
  • Almost every warning prior to this storm in the past 10 years has posed to be little more than false alarms
  • We’ve had catastrophic flooding due to random rainstorms but not a named storm since Tropical Storm Allison. It was literally the worst flooding Houstonians had seen in YEARS and this could be something very similar but that’s so far in distant memory and our population has grown so much that even threats of an “Allison” like storm seemed like… well hot air

So naturally when we first heard about this storm forming on Tuesday, most Houstonians were kinda like, “Yeah… like we haven’t heard there was a storm forming in the Gulf before *shrugs*“. Then came Wednesday and the warnings started becoming more official. So I filled my gas tank just in case but I really didn’t think much of this “storm forming in the Gulf”. Then Thursday came and grocery store parking lots were full; bread, water and other non-perishable food items weren’t staying on the shelves, but I still didn’t think much. There was still about 36 hours before landfall where it could stall or could fall apart or turn another way! But the announcement that this storm was now Category 1 and only expected to strengthen as it approached our coast… welp. Then I couldn’t deny it anymore.

Friday had offices closed to allow time to prepare for the storm and things just started getting real.

The storm wasn’t coming straight for Houston, but we were sitting on the east side and Houston is a city built for flooding. Either way, the city was shutting down to hunker down. And people were heading to the stores for the necessities.

Here’s a Texas tip on surviving a storm – you could very well possibly be stuck for a couple hours, so you better make the best of it, because anything could happen. Also – cabin fever is real, y’all!! You need to take lemons and make lemonade – so if you ever consider moving to Texas – learn that wine, beer or spirits can be a vital part of surviving a tough situation.

I’m not sure if anyone thought that the first major storm in such a long time would hit so close to home, but obviously no one truly expects that. But once it became an ominous issue, people knew that it was necessary to prepare, but with that, you need to prepare to stay put for a couple of days – so better get cozy.

If I could make a suggestion to anyone new to Houston or the Texas Gulf Coast area, I’d recommend to always keep wine, chocolate, plenty of books and a blankey as a fundamental part to your hurricane preparedness kit!

Hope all my fellow Houstonians are staying safe and dry!!

 

Love and hugs,

The Glam Greek