GER is responding to Hurricane Harvey in Houston. A GER response team is on the ground with vehicles, boats, equipment and supplies for affected families. The GER team is working directly with families in the metropolitan Houston area.
GER has been supporting families starting the recovery process and putting their lives back together. Support includes the provision cleaning kits for families to help return to their homes after flood waters have receded.
GER cleaning kits contain various items to help families clean up and disinfect homes upon return. The kits contain several pairs of rubber gloves for protection while cleaning, a strong push broom, a string mop for heavy cleaning and a sponge mop for cleaning finished floods. Further items include a large trash can, a bucket, rags, sponges and chlorine. Chlorine is one of the most important items as the cleaning of disease-carrying residue and dust can still be dangerous, especially for young children. The kits also provide large, heavy-duty trash bags and masks for further protection.
The cleaning kits are being used together with GER volunteers in debris removal from homes. Homeowners are overwhelmed in removing ruined clothing, photos, furniture and extensive belongings that have been destroyed in the flooding.
GER has also been providing water pumping services to help families in flooded houses lower and remove standing and contaminated water, which is a creating a serious health concern as mosquitos are breeding other sicknesses are developing in the standing pools. Some houses have swimming pools which are now dangerous vector breeding grounds, and also low lying areas and rooms where contaminated floods waters are still lingering.
GER has also been working with some families to help in the identification, treatment and remediation of mold. Mold is now presenting a significant challenge to families returning home after flooding. Although water has resided, mold is now found behind drywall, in foundations and floors of homes. GER is supporting families to test for mold, identify solutions, and make decisions on repairs and return timeframes. The support involves coordinating and covering costs for local mold testing specialists to review homes, provide expert opinions on when and what items to remove or repair further before moving back in.
Lastly, GER has been providing some cash grants to families, giving them the power of decision making and prioritizing their needs, such as food, medicine, school supplies, toys or any other immediate needs.
The GER response to Hurricane Harvey provides families with the comfort that they are not alone and that there are people, including our donors, who care and will work together, shoulder to shoulder, in these difficult times. As in all actions of help, the benefits go far beyond kits, supplies and services, to demonstrate the higher qualities of humanity and human cooperation among all persons.