It's a little like a bad dream....the city that gave so much after Hurricane Katrina, now has to abandon its homes and roads to the mercy of another hurricane. At least people are taking the threat seriously, and those that have the hardest time evacuating (the elderly, the hospitalized patients, the people without transportation) are being evacuated first. I'm so thankful that the area that I live in has learned from the disaster in Louisana.
As for the not-so pregnant family here in south Houston, we are leaving Thursday, September 22nd, for Fort Worth, TX. Cell phones are already starting to cut out and last night all the circuits were busy on land lines in this area, but you could try and call. I'll post as soon as I can on the blog so everyone will know that we are safe. Right now, the sun is shining and its supposed to get up to 98 degrees today. Panicky people and massive traffic is the only danger we have right now. The rain won't start until Thursday afternoon and the storm is expected to make landfall Saturday morning.
At the Food Bank, we are moving "tent city" to the Whitelands, as SJ calls them. We erected three enormous tents in our parking lot to accept, sort, and repackage donations. The tent company understandably wants their tents back before 100 mile an hour winds rip them to shreds. We were able to rent some warehouse space up north were the entire disaster relief distribution will now be located from. Normal distribution to our agencies serving Houston-clients will continue at the main office building. I can't even begin to predict what will happen here after the hurricane. All I can tell you is that according to the Mayor and our CEO, we should consider ourselves part of "essential services" and return to the city as soon as safely possible to start doing disaster relief.
I'm most worried about how the city will handle even more displaced people. Shelters and hotels in this area are full. The temporary employees that we have working here from New Orleans are all living in retirement communities or assisted living homes. The folks at the Astrodome and George R. Brown just left so there is some room in our major stadiums, but up to a million people are being encouraged to evacuate SE Houston and Galveston. Where will they go? Who will feed them? The Food Bank is already operating at twice the normal output, I'm not sure how much more we can do.
But, of course, we will. We have to. Please pray for my family and I and all those who are choosing to stay and face the storm. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.