6 Ways To Help Texans Affected By The Winter Storm

By Bethany Fischer on February 21, 2021

This week, Texans were faced with a winter weather disaster that exceeded the expectations of weather professionals and residents across the state. With temperatures lower than they have been in decades, Texans were faced with conditions many never dreamed they would have to face in their lifetime. Millions of Texans braved arctic conditions without power, heat, and water, and many more are dealing with the damage caused by ice and snow in areas that are not built to handle that type of weather.

As a Texan living through this winter storm, it is amazing to see how my state has rallied together, but heartbreaking to see so many of my fellow statesman suffering. Friends and family from in and out of state have reached out asking how to help. This Texan has put together a list of ways anyone can help the people of Texas while we repair and rebuild our state.

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Donate to Texas Winter Storm Relief Funds

GoFundMe has created a centralized hub for all verified fundraisers made for and by Texans who have been affected by the storm. These campaigns help Texans by providing funds to fix home damages caused by broken pipes, fallen limbs, and other storm-related issues. Other campaigns have been started to help individuals purchase the necessary equipment needed to withstand long-term power outages, like generators and indoor propane heaters. Texans have even started campaigns to raise funds to book rooms in the few hotels around the state that have power and water.

GoFundMe has even started a general campaign that you can donate to that will distribute funds to various verified fundraising campaigns. Texans across the state are suffering, and even the smallest amount that you can give will make the biggest difference!

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Open Your Home To a Texan In Need Through AirBnB’s “Open Homes” Program

One of the major problems Texans are facing is inhabitable homes damaged by broken pipes, electrical fires, and fallen tree limbs. Even if homes aren’t damaged, many are too cold to safely stay in without an indoor heater. Thankfully, Airbnb has a solution to this problem. Through their Open Homes program, you can open your home to Texans in need of a warm place to stay. You only need basic amenities and availability for 2 or more days to join the program! Best of all, Open Homes will reimburse each host for property damages up to $1,000,000.

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Donate to Feeding Texas to fund Texas Food Banks Around the State

Food shortages are becoming a real threat to many across the state. This is especially true of smaller communities, where supply trucks cannot safely make it through the ice to replenish local grocery stores. Feeding Texas is a program that supplies food banks throughout the state with resources necessary to help hungry Texans in times of need.

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Donate Supplies Directly to Texas Hospitals

Hospitals across Texas are in dire need of supplies after the winter storm cut off access to the supply chain. In hospitals that have lost power and water, patients with chronic illnesses are suffering without access to their necessary medication and power to run certain treatment equipment. The most critical of patients are being moved to other facilities, but the dangers of traveling through icy roads present their own set of problems.

This list of Texas Hospitals provides contact information, delivery addresses, and a list of needs. Most hospitals are requesting prepared meals, unprepared ingredients, and bottled water to care for their patients and healthcare workers housed inside of the hospitals. Even if you can’t help monetarily, you can help by donating food, water, and supplies to those most vulnerable.

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Conserve Power If You Have It

If you are a Texan fortunate enough to have power, help out your fellow Texans by conserving it. Even though rolling blackouts have ceased in most cities, conserving power is essential so that the grid is not overpowered by residents using their power all at once. As electrical equipment is repaired and restored, transformers are still at risk of breaking down because of too many people using their newly restored energy at the same time.

According to Austin-American Statemen, there are easy ways for Texans to make a difference in their community. By keeping thermostats low and maintaining from using large electrical appliances like dishwashers and electric ovens, Texas residents can take some pressure off of an already overworked power grid. Businesses and other large consumers of electricity are urged to limit the amount of power they are using by only provided essential services.

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Donate Money and Supplies to Local Animal Rescue Efforts

Texas is home to one of the largest stray animal populations in the country. Non-profit organizations dedicated to animal welfare had their hands full before the winter storm, and their workload has quadrupled during this natural disaster. Austin Pets Alive, HSPCA, and other local animal shelters are needing supplies for animals and the people that care for them. Supplies needed include:

- Dry kibble and water

- Diesel fuel to run heat generators in dog kennels

- Gloves, socks, and hand warmers for people caring for animals

- Portable chargers

If you are a Texan with resources available, reach out to your local animal shelter to see what they need and how to get it to them. If you are not a Texan but wish to help, considering donating to state-wide animal rescue organizations like the ones mentioned above.

Conclusion

There are many ways to help Texans affected by the winter storm. Donating money to fundraising campaigns and food banks helps individuals dealing with home damage and food shortages. Even if you are unable to contribute monetarily, hospitals, animal shelters, and individual residences benefit from donated food, water, and supplies.

They say that everything is bigger in Texas and that now includes winter storms. While I am lucky to have neighbors with heat and power who are willing to open their homes to me, many Texans are not as fortunate. Even the smallest act of kindness goes a long way for those in need.

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