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5 Things We Learned from Harvey on the One Month Anniversary


September 25, 2017

Katrina Katsarelis

One month after Harvey, here are a few of the most important things we learned about ourselves and each other.

1. Rednecks with trucks and boats will always be our heroes

As soon as the waters started rising, people jumped in their trucks, hitched their boats and started helping stranded residents from their homes and neighborhoods. Note to wives and girlfriends--let them have their big toys--they saved our lives! I'm convinced that without these citizens jumping up to help, more lives would've been lost.

2. Churches jumped to their feet immediately

Powerhouse Church was the first to offer an emergency shelter and numerous other churches set up donation and distribution centers, took in evacuees, mucked out hundreds of homes, transported evacuees to host homes, set up host home programs, and so much more. Our churches literally lived out their faith and were the hands and feet of Jesus. We're documenting all of in our Harvey Heroes list so we will always remember what they did for Katy.

3. People took care of animals too

It was awe-inspiring to see how animals were permitted at emergency shelters with evacuating families. Organizations like Austin Pets Alive, K-9 Rescue, Best Friends, and others stepped up to help Hurricane pets almost immediately. Volunteers swarmed Katy Mills to help with pet rescue efforts, and even emergency horse shelters were set up around the outlying areas. One kind Katy family took in 4 stranded strangers and their 5 dogs on the spot.

4. FEMA grants were very disappointing

Not only are they hard to qualify for, we learned there is a maximum of $33,000 allowed for home repair. For most of the badly flooded homes like the ones in Canyon Gate, that's not nearly enough. A senior citizen in Katy who was displaced due to her home being flooded was offered an SBA loan, but not FEMA funds. Very sad.

5, Katyites are generous and giving

You would be hard pressed to find a Katyite not impacted by flooding that didn't help someone who was. Even many that were flooded out, were helping others too. We had every kind of volunteer imaginable. From young students to businesses, to husbands and wives, to high school athletes and groups, from local organizations to seniors, and much more. Our entire community has worked tirelessly to help neighbors, friends, and strangers through the most difficult time in Katy's history.

We are in the midst of updating Katy's Harvey Heroes list so it will be a historical record for years to come. We will re-issue next week.

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