The city of Houston, the most diverse city in the United States, was hit with the bands of heavy rain from Hurricane Harvey. The hurricane made landfall in Rockport, Texas as a category 4 storm and affected most of the Texas coast. It's been a week since we started to prepare for the worst and when the Houston area started to receive heavy downpours. Many streets flooded in the first couple of hours and that was just the beginning.

The world has been able to see how the city of Houston and surrounding areas come together in time of need and break through the screens of prejudice, racism, and hate. Houston has shown the world that we can all come together as people without looking at color, race, or society status. Our family has been fortunate to have stayed dry but we are anxious to go out and help those that were not so fortunate. In fact, we just adopted a family and have all of our donations ready to take to shelters. 

I've been absent of social media for a few days but now I want to show you all that it's not just the wanting to help that makes the difference but actually going out and doing the work. My wife and I have the flexibility to work from home so we can devote most of our time to go out and help and show our compassion and be the difference the world needs.

The Pearland, Texas area, a large suburban area south of Houston, is where we live and not all of it went unaffected. Many areas around us had high water and even to this day we are somewhat trapped in this area and can't really go anywhere more than a 2 mile radius. We did get nervous and lost a lot of sleep when all the bayous and reservoirs around us were about to go over their banks. The thought of us living less than a block from all these bodies of waters had us wondering if we should have just left to San Antonio, where we were planning to evacuate to before we found out the storm was going to hit over there. It didn't end up doing that and we felt that we were now in danger of the flooding but what can you do when a storm is so unpredictable and large that it affects over 300 miles of coast. Also keep in mind that this storm went from a tropical depression to a category 4 within 3 days.

Why didn't people evacuate? Well the ones that have been quick to mention or critique our leadership and organizations are not from here and don't know what happened during Hurricane Rita and how millions of people tried leaving the city. Some spent over 24 hours on the road between Houston and San Antonio, a trip that usually takes about 3 hours. Many would have been trapped in the highways and that alone would have caused hundreds of flood related deaths on the flooded highways and roads. There are many factors but in reality why does that matter now? we can't change the past, adn these are times where the way we react to our circumstances can bring light and hope to other peoples lives. 

According to a local news station, the Houston area received over 9 trillion gallons of water over the course of the storm. That is enough to flood areas in Houston that have never flooded before. Ever. The numbers are record breaking and unfortunate for thousands of neighbors. The Pearland area received over 55" of rain , as much as the city usually gets in an entire year! 

So what can you do you may ask? There are many things you can do and it all starts by wanting to do something. You can look  for shelters and organizations that are taking in donations ( some shelters have stopped taking donations due to capacity/storage) , you can always donate to a charity or organization, you can offer to wash a families clothes, offer a warm place to stay for a family, relative, or friend. There are many places that are looking for volunteers for both day and night shifts. There are over 20,000 people misplaces by the flood waters and tornadoes that struck the area ( Over 120 tornado warnings issued, the most ever).

There were also many casualties and as a dad I want to go out and help those families with kids that have no idea what losing their home means or the extent of the damage. And as a dad I want to help as many families get back on their feet and as a city rebuild and show the world how the most diverse city in the United States can stand together as one people. My daughter has no idea what is going on except for the rain that constantly hit our windows. 

We adopted a family and will be looking to help as many people that we can with our resources.
For all those parents watching from different parts of the world, embrace your family and never take a moment for granted as well as the home and blessings of life. Take care and now that our family is safe and we are going our to rebuild lives and our city.