As we know, the last 10 days of August and all of September have had our attention around Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. Many in south Texas, including many of our CPN family members, have lost much. Some may have lost their entire homes, autos and pets. Others, while they did not entirely lose their homes, suffered flooding that was almost all but the same as the loss of their house. There will be years of rebuilding.
Calls went out for help. There were requests for clothing, food and other items. Many of us simply live too far away to be of any physical help. But there are ways to help. It can be in the way of volunteering with an organization that is putting together aid efforts. A cash donation is always one of the best ways to help. To be sure your gift is going where you want it to go. I suggest you put on your check, “For Hurricane Harvey help.” I also recommend you send your contribution to the American Red Cross or Salvation Army, since both are large organizations, and they are heavily involved in this effort.
There is another area that many times is forgotten that is in dire need of your contribution, but it isn’t money they need! Moreover, it takes only a little of your time. The blood bank in Houston has no means of collecting this much-needed lifesaving element. Each pint of blood you give has the potential of helping up to eight other people. This need will continue for months, so it is not too late to go to one of your local blood donor facilities and make your gift. The half-hour you spend there will help. As a point of interest, I have a friend who works at Carter BloodCare blood bank here in Bedford, Texas. She advised that not only is her firm sending blood to Houston, but other cities are also doing the same, including those in other states. So regardless of where you live, I ask that you consider supporting your local blood bank. The Carter group is also short on blood even for our area, so please make this suggestion of help for lives a reality.
For those who have been personally impacted by Hurricane Harvey, there may be financial help from FEMA or other federal agencies. If you are not sure how to do this, please contact me and I will give you some guidance on how to proceed. You will initially need a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) number. You can register by visiting disasterassistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362, which is the 800 number for FEMA. If you had a flood, then when you call the FEMA number select option 2, which will put you in contact with their National Flood Insurance Program. You should also contact your insurance company to file a claim.
If you’re finding that you have questions about other areas that I haven’t mentioned, you should call FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at 202-646-3444, visit fema.gov/international-affairs-division or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing for this month, I ask that we all pray for not only our own CPN family members impacted by Hurricane Harvey, but for everyone affected. In addition to the loss of personal property, some have lost family members, and our prayers need to go out to them also.
Recovery and rebuilding will take many years. In a few months, there will be another item clawing for our attention. Let us not forget those, that have gone through this hurricane and may still need our help or support in the future.
In closing, I am here to assist everyone in District 3 and am honored that you chose to re-elect me for another four-year term. None of us expected Hurricane Harvey to arrive. Nonetheless, feel free to call me where you believe I may help you. Please call my cell phone number for anything that is pressing.
Bmashi (He Soars)
District 3 Representative
112 Bedford Rd., Suite 116
Bedford, TX 76022