Texas has experienced a catastrophic winter storm for which it absolutely was not prepared. And why would they be? During winter, they typically don’t experience more than a thin layer of frost here and there. Unlike northern states, Texas does not have critical winter infrastructure like road salt, salt trucks, snow plows, water pipes that can withstand cold temperatures, winterized electrical grids, powerful heating systems, or even the ability to handle the power demands of a prolonged freeze. Millions of Texans lost power because the demand for electricity to heat homes (with inefficient electric heating systems) not only far surpassed the capacity of local power grids, but natural gas supply lines froze up and wind turbines stopped turning, further disrupting the power supply.
Come on, folks. Not only are people in the South unaccustomed to driving in the snow, but local governments literally have little capacity to clear the roads. Salt trucks and plows are scarce. Hang in there, Texas. #Snowmageddon2021
— Tom (@Elder_Cincy_Guy) February 15, 2021
Texans are freezing inside their homes, water pipes are bursting and flooding houses, and the roads are impassable for people to get out and get supplies. It is not an understatement to call what Texans are experiencing a major catastrophe.
This is how cold it is at my Apartment.
As a Texan, yes, I'm certainly not built for this. I don't even care. pic.twitter.com/FMt8imglJp
— 𝐓𝐇𝐎𝐌𝐀𝐒 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 ☩ (@ThomasBlackGG) February 16, 2021
— TxDOT Austin (@TxDOTAustin) February 16, 2021
Shocking! 😱 Turn up the volume!
Pipes busted from freezing. (Denton, Texas)
Please, If you are in Texas and you have not done so, let a couple of faucets drip until the freeze is over! #TexasFreeze #Texas #Denton pic.twitter.com/PE9Fy9jv7w
— Anas Alhajji (@anasalhajji) February 15, 2021
These folks are suffering and they need help. Below are 11 organizations that are working right now to help their local communities with food and housing. Keep in mind that even when the power comes back on, there will be millions of dollars’ worth of repairs to make. People will be experiencing food and housing insecurity for months. So if you’re in a position to offer financial assistance, these organizations could really use it.
1. Austin Mutual Aid Hotels has volunteers picking up people who need shelter and driving them to hotels. Donate via Venmo: @austinmutualaidhotels (don’t forget the S on the end — a fake account was created without the S) or @AustinMutualAid
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2. Feed The People Dallas is a Black-led community organization providing relief to marginalized communities in Dallas-Fort Worth. During the storm they are particularly helping people find housing. You can donate directly to their Venmo or Cashapp: @feedthepeopledallas
3. CrowdSource Rescue is donating generators, space heaters, and warm meals to those who need them. Donate HERE.
4. Cooperation Denton needs volunteers and cash and supply donations (batteries, flashlights, winter gear, etc) to distribute locally to people who need supplies. Donate cash directly to their Venmo: @samrflrs.
Back at it this morning! Want to give a quick shout out to Demeter's Kitchen for donating bread and other goodies!
Dispatch: (940) 584-1651
Venmo: samrflrs pic.twitter.com/8RgoXGQdUT
— Cooperation Denton (@CooperationdTX) February 18, 2021
5. Austin Disaster Relief is accepting donations to distribute gift cards, emergency housing, transportation, and supplies to those who need it. Donate HERE.
6. The Coalition for the Homeless in Houston is working to help get folks in Houston off the streets and into warming centers and shelters. Donate HERE.
7. Solid Ground Ministry is a female-founded and run non-profit seeking to raise $50,000 to help those experiencing homelessness during the storm. Donate to their GoFundMe HERE.
8. The Maximizing Hope Organization is looking to raise $75,000 to help house, feed, and provide self care items to folks in the Austin area who are experiencing homelessness. Donate HERE.
10. Dallas Stop Evictions is working to provide housing, food, and other essentials to folks in the Dallas area. Donate HERE.
11. Austin Pets Alive is helping to keep Austin area pets sheltered and warm. Donate HERE. You can also google local animal shelters in Texas if you want to offer financial assistance to those doing animal rescue work in lesser known areas.
If you live in Texas and are in need of supplies or a warm place to go, click HERE for a list of resources. Our thoughts are with you.