A couple and their pets were airlifted from the second floor of their home on the Texas Bayou as the water flooded their home quickly and unexpectedly.  That couple includes a past president of Community Associations Institute (PCAM #35).

A woman and her two daughters made a difficult decision to stay at their home in the neighborhood in which was to be evacuated because they didn’t have a vehicle that would get them safely to a shelter or a friend’s house.  That woman is also a past president of Community Associations Institute and one of the most well respected large-scale community managers in the world.

Another woman and her husband are stuck in Idaho remotely leading her team as they help themselves and their communities navigate the torrential rain and record flooding. Meanwhile, her management company office building has flooded and is a complete loss.  This woman is currently on the CAI Board of Trustees and is President of the CAI Houston Chapter.

These are three of the millions of stories coming out of Texas in the past few days as Texans endure flooding, tornadoes, and some of the most challenging and devastating conditions served up by Mother Nature.

It doesn’t matter if you live in a homeowners’ association or condominium or a neighborhood that is not part of an association – Hurricane Harvey’s path did not differentiate.  The statistics are staggering and the photographs heartbreaking. The cars submerged in water, the homes with 10 feet of water, the homes without roofs and certainly the debris that blocks roadways and thoroughfares.  Those of us at home watch the devastation unfold on social media and the news,  we pray and hope for human life to be spared and for the storm to stops its ravage.  There are millions of others watching this unfold in their community – there are families watching their belongings, their homes and communities wash away.

Like most of us watching this unfold from afar, we want to do something…anything… to help.  If you feel the same, here are a few options.

  1. Make a Cash Contribution: There are a number of national organizations well prepared to quickly act and support disaster victims with shelter, food and recover efforts; including The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army. The Independent via Yahoo posted information about ways you might contribute to a local charity in Houston to help the local recovery efforts.
  2. Share Your Expertise: If you are a community manager, board member, attorney or insurance agent who has worked with your local municipality and possibly FEMA during a federally declared disaster and you can help give advice to your colleagues in Texas, please contact Dawn Bauman at dbauman@caionline.org
  3. Contact Your Member of Congress to Support H.R. 3238 Disaster Equity Act: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has made it very difficult for community associations to qualify for public assistance funds for recovery efforts after a Presidentially declared disaster.  Following Super Storm Sandy (NJ) in 2012, Representatives Israel and Nadler introduced a bill to clarify community associations eligibility.  Unfortunately, the bill did not pass.  Following Hurricane Matthew (SC) last year, Representative Sanford joined leadership for the cause to sponsor the bill.  Wherever you live, you can help by contacting your Member of Congress and asking them to sponsor H.R. 3238.  Click here for more information and to take action.
  4. Share your Support on Social Media: Share this graphic on your social channels to stand with us in supporting Texas.

For updates regarding CAI’s effort to support Hurricane Harvey relief, click here.

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