This year, students and families further south experienced a very different end to their summer. Not only did they see the typical changing of the seasons, but they also began to prepare for a  long and disastrous hurricane season.

Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas on August 25, was one of the most impactful hurricanes to make landfall in the United States, causing devestation similar to Hurricanes Wilma in 2005 and Matthew in 2016. Harvey dropped 40 to 52 inches of rainfall in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane with winds reaching highs of 130 miles per hour near the city of Rockport, Texas. United States continental rain records were broken, and the rain led to flooding, evacuations, and the destruction of buildings throughout Texas and Louisiana.

Less than two weeks later, the Caribbean and parts of Florida were preparing for similar natural disasters, Hurricanes Irma and José, which were Category 5 and Category 4 hurricanes respectively. Irma
primarily hit regions in Florida such as Tampa and the Keys as well as the Leeward Islands, Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, and other nearby islands. José hammered the
Caribbean as well. The series of washouts spread up the United States, and into regions much farther north such as the Jersey Shore, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Cape Cod. Then, on September 20, Hurricane Maria, another Category 5, battered Puerto Rico, knocking out
power for the entire island and causing immense flooding. 

With all this in mind, how can LM students help the people affected? Although these hurricanes have already occurred, the LM community can still contribute to relief efforts. Already, LM students and families have helped by donating clothing to GreenDrop to aid the children and parents affected by Harvey and by participating in other community service projects. 

Donations are being accepted by organizations such as GlobalGiving at globalgiving.org, United Way Houston Chapter at unitedwayhouston.org/flood/flood-donation/, the Jewish Federation Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, and GoFundMe. The Red Cross is also accepting donations at redcross.org or by texting “Harvey” to 90999, and the SPCA of Texas is organizing pet evacuations and accepting donations at spca.org/give.