RICHMOND, Va. – Governor McAuliffe has declared a State of Emergency to aid states that have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
His executive order will allow Virginia to expedite aid to the Gulf Coast areas, an announcement form his office said.
In declaring a state of emergency, the governor authorizes Virginia state agencies to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in those states impacted by the flooding. His action does not apply to individuals or private businesses and is similar to the response ordered by Governor Mark Warner in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the announcement said.
To participate in the recovery effort the Governor’s Office suggests citizens follow these tips:
- The most effective way to support communities impacted by the storms is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable non-profit charitable organizations.
- Donate through a trusted organization. At the national level, many voluntary-, faith- and community-based organizations are active in disasters and are trusted ways to donate to disaster survivors. Individuals, corporations and volunteers can learn more about how to help on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) website.
- The Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Texas VOAD) has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations providing services to survivors. Texas VOAD represents more than three dozen faith-based, community, non-profit and non-governmental organizations.
- Cash donations offer these non-profit agencies flexibility to address urgent needs. These organizations can obtain needed resources nearer to the disaster location, not only getting needed supplies to those rebuilding after the storm, but also providing economic aid that helps local businesses from which these emergency supplies are purchased to recover faster.
- Do not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, household items, medicine, or perishable food. When used personal items are donated, the helping agencies must redirect their staff away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
Volunteer in disaster areas:
Texas is asking volunteers not to self-deploy. Unexpectedly showing up will create an additional burden for first responders. The National VOAD says the situation may not be conducive to volunteers entering the impacted zone and individuals may find themselves turned away by law enforcement.
- Potential volunteers are asked to register with a voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already in Texas and supporting survivors on the ground. The National and Texas VOAD websites are offering links to those who wish to register to volunteer with community- and faith-based organizations working in the field.
- To ensure volunteer safety, as well as the safety of disaster survivors, volunteers should only go into affected areas with a specific volunteer assignment, proper safety gear and valid identification.
- Volunteer generosity helps impacted communities heal from the tragic consequences of disasters, but recovery won’t happen overnight. There will be volunteer needs for many months, and years, after the disaster, so sign up now.