We have had a lot of people messaging us about temporary places to stay, new homes to purchase, what do to in order to rebuild their homes, etc., so we wanted to create a post with links to helpful information, companies, and resources for those looking to rebuild, help, or donate. Should you have any additional information you think we should share, please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DONATIONS & VOLUNTEER INFO
If you are in Houston and want to volunteer or donate, please try to check before going to see if the shelter/donation point needs volunteers and what specific donations are needed. There are shelters/donation points set up throughout town. ABC 13 has a list of shelters throughout the city here. Many shelters need overnight volunteers, as well.
If you live out of the area and are looking to donate, check out JJ Watt’s flood relief fund. He is working with local officials to determine the best way to help give directly to those in need. If you follow him on Facebook (or any social media), he is continually updating the public on the total donations & where the donations will be going.
Another great resource is this list from ColorLines.com. They have compiled a comprehensive list of charities and organizations focused on marginalized communities throughout Houston and Texas.
Keep in mind, the Houston Food Bank’s biggest fundraising event is Houston Restaurant Weeks, and it has been significantly impacted by Harvey. If you have the time or money, consider donating to the Houston Food Bank. Every $1 provides a full day of meals.
If you are aware of a specific need or organization that needs assistance, please send us an e-mail at email@example.com.
INSURANCE & CLEAN-UP
Due to the amount of impacted residents in Houston, insurance adjusters will be spread very thin over the next few months, and they may not be able to immediately come out to assess the damage to your home. Try to file your claim as quickly as possible. When you file your claim, ask when you can expect to see an adjuster.
Call your mortgage company, car loan company, student loan & credit card companies. Ask for a 3 month reprieve from payments. There should be no late fees assessed. They will work with you. You may need the money to get back on your feet.
Take LOTS of photos and videos of the damage (with time-stamps). Be sure to back up these documents to an external hard drive, cloud-based system, or send to a family member or friend.
Be sure to document all of your conversations, e-mails, receipts, etc. in relation to your insurance claim. Try to use a legal pad or notebook, and write down everything in one place.
FEMA has a Flood Insurance Claims Handbook on their website that can help you to navigate through the confusion. Contact your flood insurance and home insurance companies as soon as possible so they can clarify the points of your policies. *Many are reporting that adjusters are saying just photos are not sufficient, and that you must keep damaged items (maybe in your yard) until they inspect the home
Empty your home quickly of items that are destroyed. If it has a plug, it is toast. If it runs on gas or electricity and was under water, it is trash. Cut drywall to 4′ (the width of drywall.). It saves time and money when you are replacing it.
⚠️Don’t do it like on HGTV. No sledge hammers needed. Draw a line 4′ above the floor. Cut with a razor blade. Put one hole in the wall and grab and pull. Hopefully you have drywall nails in there and not screws. Remove insulation from that same area. Feel above for dampened insulation. If it is damp, go 2′ more up.
Once you are sure you have all the wetness gone and are down to the studs, spray with bleach. You don’t want mold to grow. Make sure your windows are open. Wear an N-95 mask any time you are indoors in a house that was flooded.
Expect that this will take 3 months on average to fix. From the time you begin tossing things out to the final paint coat.
Should you need a temporary place to stay, Air B&B is waiving all service fees are waived for those affected by the disaster and checking in through September 25, 2017. There are currently 500+ free rooms/places to stay for those displaced deemed “Urgent Accommodations” (link here). If you are able to offer space for free, you can also list a room/place.
Additionally, the Air B&B site is available for booking, and rooms/spaces start at only $25.
If you are looking for something a little more long-term; consider corporate housing or a short term rental at an apartment community.
Corporate housing would provide a fully-furnished apartment with housewares and utilities. Many companies have a slight backlog, but the companies we’ve spoken with are quickly working to set up more units. (They generally only have apartments based on need, not a surplus of availability). For most companies, you will need to complete a credit application.
Corporate housing companies include:
If you are a corporate housing company and would like to be added to this list, please e-mail Katie@movemetotx.com.
Many apartment communities we have contacted are waiving short term premiums, storage fees, pet fees, etc. for displaced residents looking for a short term rental. Please ASK the communities you’re visiting/calling what they can do for you if you are displaced.
You can browse apartments for rent in Houston here:
If you need assistance in finding a place, please fill out this form and we can send you options within 24 hours of your request. We are currently offering a 50% rebate to any apartment clients displaced by Hurricane Harvey. For details, contact us today.