After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Leah Halbina reached out to friends in the Houston area to see how she could help. When she found out about Sketch City, an open, nonprofit community of technology advocates and civic hackers that used technology to organize rescue efforts, help victims locate their nearest shelter and satisfy other pressing needs, she jumped in to help. Shortly after, Leah had to use the same technology in her home state of Florida as Hurricane Irma approached and made landfall.
Disaster Response & Recovery
When Ronnie Devries realized how many Houston residents were in need following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, he knew he could help. With experience as the volunteer coordinator, Ronnie helped create a makeshift command center at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center – which quickly became a shelter for thousands of residents displaced by the storm. Working overnight, he helped set up a system for volunteer coordination to ensure volunteers were matched with all aspects of shelter operations.
As Hurricane Harvey moved across Texas, causing massive flooding and damage, AmeriCorps Alums partnered with the American Red Cross to mobilize skills-based volunteers from the organization's national service alumni network – specifically those who have served with FEMA Corps or NCCC, had experience with disaster response, and who could travel to Texas to assist with immediate recovery. Volunteers, like AmeriCorps alum Lindsey Earl, quickly responded and helped provide on-the-ground support in Houston.