Hurricane Harvey and the Resilience of the Human Spirit

For the people who live in the Gulf Coast region of the United States, hurricane season is just a fact of life; however, no one was expecting what hit southeast Texas on August 25, 2017.

Moving from a tropical storm to a category 3 hurricane within 24 hours, Hurricane Harvey made landfall at the beach city of Rockport, TX as a CAT 4 storm, bringing untold wind damage, flooding, and tornadoes along the coast of Texas.

Amidst the destruction, devastation, and loss of life, there is something else to be found in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey: heroes. Everyday individuals, some who have lost just as much as the people they are rescuing, have stepped up to help others during this 1000 year storm.

In the days since Hurricane Harvey hit, we’ve seen complete strangers come together to save lives.

Local businessman, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, opened his two Houston-area furniture galleries to displaced Houstonians.

Volunteers who were more fortunate in avoiding Harvey’s wrath started the rebuilding process— collecting food, clothing, diapers, and toiletries and donating their service to those who lost everything.

And even heroes from other states have come to the rescue.

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Thoughts? Though #FEMA plans to play a large role in disaster relief efforts as #HurricaneHarvey continues to inundate #Texas, a volunteer group is stepping in to help their fellow humans — and it’s not the first time they’ve taken action. The #CajunNavy first came into existence with 30 people and 23 rescue vessels during #HurricaneKatrina and grew even larger amid severe flooding in #Louisiana in 2016. The Guardian reported that last year — using social media — the group of hunters and fishermen were able to locate stranded residents and rescue them with their boats. Their missions were all the more vital amid the government’s failure to adequately take care of victims and provide housing and relief. For example, Julie Ralph of St. #Francisville, Louisiana, turned to #Amazon, creating a page to accept donations of basic supplies. Ralph said that as the floodwaters cleared and rescue operations turned into recovery operations, the #Cajun Navy became the #CajunArmy. As she said last September: “As it stands, the boots on the ground are the Cajun Army, and anyone who can be summoned through Facebook or Twitter by people sharing how bad things are to get people to come over and help.” When the floods started hitting Texas this weekend, the Cajun Navy sprung back into action. Houston’s ABC 13 reported Monday that on Sunday, “a caravan comprising of pickup trucks and small fishing vessels made the trip from Louisiana swampland to the Houston area,” and the group has been making use of social media to find those who need rescuing. Their Cajun Army Facebook group has over 10,000 members and provides a mode of communication for people to provide their location so rescuers can reach them, as does the Cajun Navy 2016 page, which has nearly 80,000 followers. They’re also tapping into other volunteer groups to find locations where people are stranded. The Navy is advising stranded Texans to download the Zello Walkie Talkie app and use it to find search and rescue operations near their location. ????????More in comments????????

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Heroes didn’t forget about Texas’ pets in the rescue efforts, either.

Hurricane Harvey has brought so much tragedy to the Lone Star State, but the actions of heroes likes these counter that misery with the reminder that there is still goodness in this world as long as we commit to helping each other.

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