Sen. Dave Schatz’s Column for Aug. 31

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I am sure I was not alone this week as I watched as Hurricane Harvey wreak havoc on Houston and on neighboring communities. Tens of thousands of people have been misplaced. Homes and businesses have been destroyed, and the death toll continues to rise. Search and rescue teams from several states, including Missouri, have been deployed to help.

From the images we see in the news and on social media it is abundantly clear there are needs that must be addressed immediately.  In order to make sure donation efforts are the most beneficial for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has put together a list of the most effective ways to help. The Federal Emergency Management Agency discourages donations of unsolicited goods such as used clothing, household items, medicine or perishable food. Instead, FEMA says cash donations to trusted, reputable, voluntary, or charitable organizations better helps address urgently developing needs.

The following groups and agencies are some good options for donation:

Patience is key in situations like this. We want to make sure our efforts are safe and that we are meeting the actual needs of the victims. Volunteer efforts won’t end this week, and there will continue to be a great need and call for donations of services and goods. The community will need help for months and years after these waters recede. The recovery period is just now beginning.

Thank you for reading this weekly column. Please contact my office at (573) 751-3678 if you have any questions.