Dallas, Texas – Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) volunteers have set up in Dallas to help provide support and services to residents who evacuated their homes because of Hurricane Harvey, which recently was downgraded to a tropical storm, but still has the potential to cause massive damage.
Hani Hamwi, leader of IRUSA’s Disaster Response Team, said a total of 15 volunteers and staff are on site at evacuation shelters in the Dallas area. Volunteers are unable to get into Houston at the present time, he said.
“Every major roadway and highway is blocked off,” Hamwi said in a recent debriefing. “The flooding is going to get much, much worse. Personally, I have never seen anything on this scale before. This may be the worst natural disaster in recent history.
“For a lot of people, this may have been the most traumatic experience they have been through,” Hamwi continued. “Our volunteers are trained to help them.”
IRUSA volunteers are currently working with the American Red Cross in managing the operations at shelters, intake of shelter occupants, and ensuring everyone’s safety. Once the roadways to Houston open, Hamwi anticipates the volunteers will focus on disaster assessment.
That could take some time, though. National Weather Service calls the flooding from Harvey “unprecedented” and warns that things may become much worse if a record-breaking 50 inches of rain falls on parts of Texas in the coming days. The rainfall threatens to exacerbate an already dangerous situation, as Harvey’s rains have left many east Texas rivers and bayous swollen to their banks or beyond.
The storm killed several people in Texas, authorities said, and the death toll will likely rise. More than 1,000 people were rescued overnight.
Islamic Relief USA is encouraging donations be made to IRUSA’s United States Humanitarian Aid fund to support emergency aid efforts. For more information on volunteering with Islamic Relief’s Disaster Response Team, call or visit the website, www.irusa.org.
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Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. Its programs benefit millions of people each year around the world, including in the United States.
Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.