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Nashville Welcomes Those Displaced By Hurricanes
Late in the summer of 2005, Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast and displaced 400,000 people. While the nation banded together to donate their time and money, the recovery and rebuilding effort was slow. With devastated infrastructure and flood waters lingering, people could not wait around for repairs to begin.
For those of us who remember, Nashville hosted so many from New Orleans and affected regions. In fact, Nashville often serves as a safe port in the storm, given our central location in the south, surrounded by hurricane susceptible states. Now, with the damage from Harvey and Irma, and even the destruction we're seeing in Puerto Rico, Nashville once again opens it's arms to those displaced by these natural disasters.
Earlier this month, highways leading out of Florida were choked with vehicles. I have friends who squeezed four and five family members into their two-bedroom apartments. The Nashville Humane Society began accepting lost and displaced animals - both those without owners, and those whose owners could keep them with them in temporary housing. In my office, we get two to three calls a day from people displaced by the store looking for housing - some temporary, others fed up with the threat of storms and looking to make Nashville a permanent home.
Nashville has it's own history with extreme weather - I remember being in a hotel room, thankfully elevated, during the 2010 flood trying to find a route home and watching cars and home float by on the TV in the lobby. I remember being in my parents house in Murfreesboro during the Good Friday tornado when it carved a swath right through their neighborhood. Despite the tragedy and hardship, it is in these times when the soul of our city shines brightest, and when the volunteer state earns it's name.
We're more crowded than we were in 2005, but there's still a place for you. If you're in need of shelter, Nashville welcomes you.
Our agents have already opened their hearts and their wallets to help those in need. If you'd like to join us, please consider supporting these causes:
American Red Cross
One of the largest, most reputable, and usually the first group people turn to when donating after a disaster. They are providing shelter for displaced hurricane victims and have thousands of boots local and on the ground. You can donate here.
A nonprofit with staff on the ground in Texas and in constant contact with emergency management to help with the response and recovery. You can donate here.
Greater Houston Community Fund
Established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the community fund is a broad-base non-profit working on the recovery of Houston and it's citizens. You can donate here.
The disabled are at the greatest risk, and often have the most difficulty evacuating from disasters. Even when they can, precious medical needs may not move with them and can leave them in just as much danger. Portlight focuses it's effort on helping these people. You can donate here.
ConPRmetidos: A local Puerto Rican organization working in tandem with public and private backers to raise money for relief. You can donate here.