Day 13 in Refugio | Hurricane Harvey

September 6, 2017 marks Day 13 since Hurricane Harvey began assaulting the Texas Coast. The Minuteman team quickly responded and established a base camp in Refugio, which bore the brunt of the storm and lost power, water, and cell service. Our immediate efforts included cleanup and removal of debris, distribution of supplies and recovery kits, and supporting first responders.

Over the past week, we have been able to provide hot showers and clean restrooms for 175 first responders who are based in this region, and our command trailer even served as home to the Refugio County 911 dispatch system for a stint after their building was destroyed. We launched a drone to provide footage for local officials that shows the full extent of the damage across the county.

Trees are down on every street in Refugio

We have been able to serve first responders in a special way by cleaning up debris at their homes while they are out serving others. Through our partnership with Triple G Relief, we have also been able to ensure that these first responders have three hot meals a day and are able to take a hot shower each night when they come in from the field, exhausted after a hard day of work.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see how selfless they are—wanting others to be taken care of before they are taken care of,” said one of our volunteers. We are grateful for the opportunity to support our first responders in tangible ways.

We have also been able to serve the elderly by cleaning up property damage that they would not be able to manage on their own. Our all-volunteer team has been fielding hundreds of requests for assistance and clean-up, and we are doing all we can to help all who are in need. Our philosophy is simple: “If we can meet the need, we will meet the need.”

Delivering a Generator

Sometimes, it’s as simple as a hot meal, a cup of cold water, and a hot shower. Other times, it’s a tank of gas or groceries. The other day, the local distribution center ran out of tarps and diapers, so we went shopping. Yesterday, we received a call from a man who was still without power and couldn’t use his breathing machine. Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to purchase a generator with enough capacity to power his machine and a small window unit air conditioner so he can keep cool in the South Texas heat. The generator was delivered to his trailer today and he is extremely grateful.

“This is an amazing experience,” said Lori Zertuche, one of our volunteers—a medical assistant from Fort Worth. “I love seeing the community come together and work together as one.”

As we travel across Refugio County, reaching out to locals with severely damaged homes, we are continually met with these words: “Thank you, but I don’t have money for that.” What they mean by that is, “Surely you can’t be offering all of this stuff for free. What’s the catch?”

Crews are still working to fully restore power to the city. Some were without for 10+ days.

That is the beauty of Minuteman. All of our volunteers serve for free, and everything we provide to those in need is without cost. We simply desire to help people who are hurting and have needs, and impact as many lives as possible. The response is overwhelming. People are absolutely blown away by simple acts of kindness, and it’s very rewarding for all involved—from those with boots on the ground to those who have contributed financially to make it all possible.

Donations have come in from all over the world. One church we visited was stocked full of supplies to be distributed, but there is still great need. We invite you to partner with us financially so we can continue our work in Refugio, and continue to send teams from across Texas to serve this community.

Previous Updates

Day 9 Update: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Day-9-Hurricane-Harvey-Update—I-Don-t-Have-Money-For-That.html?soid=1122729029820&aid=8j28vmlaSlU

Day 7 Update: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Day-7-Hurricane-Harvey-Update—Meet-The-Need.html?soid=1122729029820&aid=htmySwlDX6Q

Day 5 Update: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Day-5—Hurricane-Harvey.html?soid=1122729029820&aid=5f-TzC5JEoo

Hurricane Harvey Landing Page: https://www.minutemanresponse.org/harveyrelief/

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