As Hurricane Harvey continues to affect people with ALS, their families, our staff, and our board members in Houston and the surrounding areas, we want to keep you informed of our efforts to serve them in this critical time. This disaster is likely to have a prolonged impact on the area, so we will continue to assess the unique needs and address them accordingly.
At this time, we are providing emergency financial assistance to people with ALS who are forced to evacuate their homes for safer accommodations. We strongly recommend that people with ALS do not flee to shelters, as health risks are heightened significantly in that setting. We are prepared to provide financial assistance for hotel accommodations and other safer settings. We are also in contact with FEMA and the American Red Cross to ensure that people with ALS are adequately cared for according to their unique needs.
Our team across the state has been actively reaching out to approximately 220 people with ALS and their families in the affected areas. Many have evacuated, many are sheltering in their homes, and many we still have not been able to reach. We are doing continued outreach to ensure their needs are met.
We are in the process of setting up a staging facilities in and around the Houston area that will store necessary medical equipment, respiratory needs, nutrition, and personal care items for people with ALS. A task force that includes ALS Association staff and board members, ALS service partners, and natural disaster management experts has been deployed to ensure each unique area of need is addressed during this crisis. As soon as the staging facility locations are determined, we will share those via email, our website, and social media.
We have received word that our office building in Houston has flooded, and we anticipate that our durable medical equipment storage facility will also be flooded. As patients are being evacuated from their homes, they are not able to bring some of their costly equipment, including power wheelchairs. We will continue to stay abreast of these needs in the coming days and to do everything possible to fulfill them.
Hurricane Harvey has not stopped the diagnosis, progression, and devastation of ALS. We cannot and will not break from our responsibility to all Texans living with ALS. Now more than ever, our mission to create a world without ALS is critical. Let us Texans support Texans in this critical time, as well as continue to support those who are being diagnosed with ALS every day regardless of this disaster.
If you are a person with ALS in need of financial assistance, medical equipment, or any other care due to Hurricane Harvey, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to donate to disaster relief for people with ALS and their families and to the fight against ALS, click here.