VM disaster relief in the wake of hurricane Harvey
- Hurricane Harvey surpassed record rainfall with over 50 inches (1.3 meters), double the rainfall in London for an entire year.
- An estimated 30,000 people have been forced from their homes into emergency shelters due to flooding.
- Over 130 VMs are on the ground bringing help to those affected by the disaster.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on 25 August at 11pm. As a category 4 hurricane with 130 miles per hour winds (209 kilometers per hour), this is the strongest storm to hit Texas in over 50 years.
An IAS emergency grant was immediately provided to deploy hundreds of Volunteer Ministers to assist in the disaster response.
Hurricane Harvey has already caused record rainfall, damaging neighborhoods and causing life-threatening flooding.
The storm has also flooded parts of Houston, the largest city in Texas. Torrential rains are expected to continue for several more days.
In immediate response, a cavalcade of 14 VM vans and trucks are bringing in vitally needed supplies for emergency shelters. This includes three larger trucks able to navigate the heavier flood zones due to their size.
VM headquarters have been set up in Austin, Texas, with 130 volunteers on the ground providing help. VMs have come from all over the USA including as far as Los Angeles, New York and Tampa. Also on location is the world-renowned search and rescue team Los Topos who deployed to Rockport, Texas, where the hurricane made landfall.
The VMs further deployed to shelters including the largest one in Houston with nine-thousand men, women and children who have been forced from their homes. One VM on site reported the shelter he was at received 2,000 more arrivals overnight.
Among the requested items the VMs are providing are hygiene kits, towels and bedding, as well as cribs, baby formula and supplies.
VMs are additionally bringing one-on-one assistance to those in need.
Calls have been flooding in to the VM International Hotline from Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike, offering help and asking to volunteer.
With continued IAS support, the next 100 VMs are already enroute, with more vehicles being scheduled and loaded to bring further supplies and volunteers to help in this disaster.