My name is Tom Homan and I’m from Ambler, Pennsylvania. My second cousin, Derek Hudspeth (wife and two daughters ages 8 and 5), lost just about everything they own when Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston, Texas area. The photo shows the Hudspeth residence.
The home IS NOT in a flood plain and residents never imagined they would have to flee in haste. When the waters continued to rise rapidly it became obvious they needed to evacuate quickly and only take what they could gather by hand. Thankfully, they were able to leave their residence in their automobiles with their lives intact, the clothes on their backs and a few incidentals. Derek, his wife and children are safe and in temporary housing with family (what a blessing!!).
Like most people who do not live in flood plains they do not have flood insurance. So, their losses are almost total. Food, clothing, furniture, household appliances, kitchen supplies, some tools, children's toys; basically just about everything in the house is lost. Additionally, there are the associated costs for cleanup and removal of all the filth and ruined furnishings and possessions.
They were told to not remove anything until FEMA sees the damage. If the people of Houston do this the area will be an infested with disease (that is already a serious risk) so residents and volunteers are cleaning up now. I think you'll agree this is an immediate health need as the temperature has been over 90 degrees over the past few days making it a perfect environment for mold and bacteria to grow. This simply cannot wait for FEMA.
We are estimating that their out of pocket financial loss will be well over twenty thousand dollars. Your donations will help pay for the obvious immediate needs like food, necessities and clothing. It will also go to immediate needs like removing stagnant water, mud, soaked furniture, etc. and cleaning. Eventually, your donation will help to make up the difference between the actual losses and the FEMA benefit.
Right now, most of the cleanup costs are being covered by Derek and the sweat equity family, friends and volunteers. There have been many volunteers helping with the clean up and small donations already applied to their need. This has been very helpful and appreciated. I do not want to understate this!
I've tried my best to be forthright and relay to you the actual needs as they are being explained to me over the phone and as I understand them. I assure you the need is legitimate and immediate. I am uncertain about how, when and how much support will come via FEMA but I am virtually certain that the estimated out of pocket unrecoverable costs are pretty accurate. (But, they are estimates!) As I get more information I will tell you!!
If any of you would like to make a contribution but do not want to pay a gofundme fee then I can arrange a way for you to send your aid directly to the Hudspeth family. Furthermore, I understand that, for whatever reason, not everyone is able or willing to make a donation or has already contributed to an organization. I understand and respect that. Please, do not feel any pressure to give. If you want to give but don't know where then this is a good option.
Prayers are also of enormous value. Thank you for consideration of my request.
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