We continue to be blown away by the support of all our Katy area residents both in our district and the surrounding areas. The email we set up (email@example.com) to manage food deliveries from restaurants, churches, and residents has a team of our volunteers helping to direct donations of food, time and services to other area organizations that are helping impacted families both in ESD 48 and across Katy. Please continue to use this email if you have food, items or manpower that you are trying to place and our Community Team members will continue to help you find the best place for your resources to be utilized.
First: When disasters strike there are always people who will try to take advantage of the generosity of others. We have received numerous reports of people claiming to represent police or fire departments who are requesting monetary donations to assist with rescue operations. After reaching out to area law enforcement and emergency services partners, we have confirmed that there are NO Katy area agencies requesting funds for operational needs from the public at this time. Below you will find a list of all of the Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement agencies that serve the Katy area and it is linked to their website. Each of these agencies is funded by your tax dollars and much of their disaster response expenditures are likely to be offset by both State and Federal assistance since our area has been officially declared a disaster zone. (Community VFD is raising money to directly benefit their members impacted by Harvey here: Community VFD’s YouCaring fund) If you are solicited by someone to financially support a local agency, please verify they are a local agency and use the links below to confirm with the agency staff that it is a valid request. (Federal Trade Commission warning: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0085-fundraisers-calling-behalf-police-and-firefighters)
Katy Area Agencies (alphabetical):
Community Volunteer Fire Department – Harris-Fort Bend ESD 100
Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department – Harris County ESD 9
Fulshear-Simonton Fire Department – Fort Bend ESD 4
Harris County ESD 48 Fire & EMS – Harris County ESD 48 & Fort Bend ESD 1
Katy Fire Department – City of Katy
Waller Harris ESD 200 – Waller Harris ESD 200
Westlake Volunteer Fire Department – Harris County ESD 47
Willowfork Fire Department – Fort Bend ESD 2
Fort Bend County EMS – Fort Bend County
Fort Bend County Constable Precinct 3
Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office
Harris County Constable Precinct 5
Harris County Sheriff’s Office
Katy Police Department – City of Katy
Katy ISD Police Department – Katy ISD School District
Second: Contractors both legitimate and otherwise are now entering neighborhoods and contacting residents who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. While soliciting is legal in the unincorporated areas of Harris and Fort Bend Counties, please contact your local law enforcement if the offer does not seem legitimate.
The Texas Attorney General’s website has some great resources to protect yourself from unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of people in need. Here are two pages specifically that are very helpful.
Disaster scams: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/disaster-scams
Fraud and scams: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/frauds-and-scams
Third: We have have been getting a number of inquiries on Facebook and Nextdoor asking about wild animals who have sought higher ground in people’s yards during the Barker flooding. After consulting with the Texas State Game Warden, they have given us the instructions below should you find a wild animal (dead or alive) on or around your property.
Live animal: If you find a live animal on your property, leave it alone and make it as easy as possible for them to escape on their own. Do not attempt to herd or force the animal to leave the area. If the problem persists for more than 24 hours, you can reachthe Game Warden’s Houston Regional Office at (281) 931-6471.
Dead Animal: If you find a dead animal on your property or in the road there are a couple of things you can do depending on where you find it. If it is in your yard please do not touch or move it unless its location poses an immediate issue to the safety of your family or pets. If you must move it to a safe place please do so carefully and with gloves. For animals not on a roadway, you may contact Harris County Public Health‘s County operator at (713) 755-5000 to have a team sent out to remove it. If the animal is located on a freeway or feeder road, submit a request to TxDOT. For the Contact Reason, select the drop down: “Road debris/litter/dead animal” or call TXDOT directly at (713) 802-5000. Select Option 1.
The reservoir levels in the Barker Reservoir have continued to drop as Harris County Flood Control and the Army Corp of Engineers continues to release water into the Buffalo Bayou on the east side of the reservoir. The water levels that once peaked on the morning of August 30th at 101.6 feet have now dropped to just below 99 feet as of 2:00 pm Sunday (9/3/17).
The Addicks and Barker watersheds have received approximately 35-40 inches of rain across the watersheds since the beginning of the severe weather. Addicks Reservoir continues to release water at approximately 7000 cubic feet per second and Barker is holding steady at approximately 6,300 cubic feet per second.
Based on a seven-day forecast of less than one inch of rain, reservoir discharge rates are expected to continue for the next 10 to 15 days. The lowest elevation homes are at 97 feet and many roads around those neighborhoods have elevations of 90-95 feet and may still be impassable for another week or more.
To apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance, please visit: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
Submit a home flood report: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HomeFlooding
Protect yourself from injuries during cleanup by wearing:
• Hard hats
• Heavy work gloves
• Waterproof boots with steel toes
• Earplugs or headphones (if you’re working with noisy equipment)
Prevent Illness after a Disaster
• Clean up, disinfect, and practice good hygiene to avoid illness from bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew.
• Get medical care if you are injured, sick, or having trouble coping with stress.
• To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, only use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices outside and away from open windows, doors, and air vents.
• Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illness.
Pace Yourself during Clean Up
Cleaning up your home can be a big job. Be sure to take care of yourself:
• Rest when you need to.
• Decide which cleanup tasks are most important, and focus on those first. That way, you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.
• Get help lifting heavy or bulky objects. If you lift too much on your own, you could hurt yourself.
• Try to work with other people, so you aren’t alone.
• Get support from family members, friends, counselors, or therapists.
If you are in the process of clean-up and debris removal from your property, please take precautions to prevent disaster-related casualties and fatalities.
• Be aware of damaged water, gas, and electric lines.
• Be aware of damaged building and construction materials.
• Do not attempt to conduct major tree work or reconstruction without proper equipment, permits, and training.
• Be aware of household hazardous waste and contaminants. ***
For additional information about debris separation and debris removal, please call the Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline: (713) 274-3880.
***Household Hazardous Waste (HHW), such as paint (oil-based and latex), automotive chemicals, batteries, and lawn chemicals will not be picked up with regular debris piles. Harris County will notify all residents about HHW collection dates and drop-off locations.
Report any hazardous materials spills to Harris County Pollution Control Services Department at (713) 920-2831.
There has been an unbelievable response and a desire to volunteer in our community. There are a number of local opportunities to serve that can be found by going to https://katydisasterresponse.com/
For an even broader list of opportunities around our County you can reach out to Volunteer Management – (281) 656-1533 or at www.volunteerhouston.org