With more than 70 people dead and billions of dollars of damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the full impacts of both disasters are still being tallied. Hurricane Harvey saturated parts of Texas and Louisiana with 27 trillion gallons of water and Houston received a whopping 53 inches of rain. Two weeks later, Houston's floodwater is contaminated with E. coli and heavy metals and draining very slowly. CNN reported that Hurricane Irma left a "nuclear landscape" in the Caribbean. On top of that, 61 people were killed by an unprecedented 8.1 earthquake in Mexico, the strongest of its kind in 100 years. Additionally, 65 ongoing fires in the West Coast have posed serious threats, burning everything in its path, wreaking havoc on air quality, and saturating the sky with massive ash like snowflakes in a winter snow storm.
As people look alarmingly at global warming and feel overwhelmed at what to do to help others directly impacted by natural disasters, here are some things you can do (which can help you feel good by contributing to a solution while helping others at the same time):
> Consider donating to the Red Cross--as a volunteer or through valuable blood and monetary donations.
> Get involved with other local community or church groups that are working on a mission of rebuilding.
> Volunteer at an emergency shelter near you.
> Donate essential items, like toiletries, food items, clothing, and replacement furniture.
> Help with childcare, play activities, helping with homework, and/or reading to kids at shelters.
> Foster displaced children and/or pets.
> Contribute to lessening your carbon footprint on the planet by investing in solar power and alternative energies.
> Get involved with local conservation groups in your area and do your part to reduce, recycle and reuse.
> Pray and/or send positive thoughts/energy to all around you, including Mother Earth... as Gandhi said, "Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. When properly understood and applied, it is the most potent form of action."