The devastation wrought by the storm known as Harvey is being described as epic, catastrophic, monumental and record-breaking. The words themselves aren’t big enough to describe the rainfall amounts and the scope of damage. For the nation’s fourth-largest city that 6.5 million people proudly call home, rebuilding will take not weeks, not months but years.
At this point, however, even beginning to think about rebuilding is impossible for many still struggling with an active storm and flooding of unfathomable proportion. The Texas coast and the Houston metropolitan area in particular still are very much in emergency response and crisis mode.
But, of course, being Texans, we all want to help with resources and manpower. The outpouring of offers of help are the bright silver lining in an otherwise extremely dark moment. These offers are coming not just from all corners of our great state but from all corners of the nation.
THA is working closely with all local, state and federal agencies involved in the emergency response and helping to coordinate supply management and distribution, staffing and evacuation plans. Current information on regulatory waivers and government alerts is available from www.tha.org/harvey, and THA is distributing regular information alerts as needs arise.
As focus begins to shift to rebuilding in the coming weeks, THA and the entire hospital industry will have the opportunity and responsibility to help our sister institutions rebuild their facilities and communities. THA has established the
THA Hospital Employee Assistance Fund that will provide financial assistance to employees in hospitals in a FEMA-designated disaster area and who have experienced property loss or damage. Program details are being finalized, but as each of us looks for a concrete and meaningful way to help, I encourage us all to give to this fund today. THA will give 100 percent of the contributions to our hospital employees, many of whom have been providing care and services around-the-clock since the storm hit and haven’t yet been able to survey the damage in their own homes. Online donations may be made at www.tha.org/harvey, or checks may be sent to THA, 1108 Lavaca Street, Suite 700, Austin, TX 78701 (please put THA Hospital Employee Assistance Fund in the memo line).
While Texans never lack in fortitude or generosity, rebuilding after Harvey will take an unprecedented amount of time and resources. Let’s promise our colleagues with whom we share this sacred, humbling and heroic work that we won’t forget them and will be by their side throughout.