Crews backed by Stamford-based Americares are among those responding to the unfolding storm disaster in Texas. Americares has deployed a response team to support its network of health centers and clinics in Texas, which are providing medical supplies and clean water to those displaced by catastrophic flooding around Houston, and the disastrous landfall of Hurricane Harvey near Corpus Christi.
Garrett Ingoglia is in charge of emergency response at the non-profit.
“People are cut off from assistance," he told WNPR. "It’s going to be days before some of the people who are isolated can get care. People who need chronic care medications for example, or people who are traumatized by the event -- they need help."
Americares is supporting one of its partner agencies in the city of Houston itself, as it tries to provide emergency care.
"It’s extremely challenging, because as a responder or a care provider you don’t want to yourself become a victim, so it’s very difficult to navigate the city safely," said Ingoglia.
Beyond the immediate effects, the scale of the disaster means it could take people years to get back on their feet.
"Americares will look to help make sure that the health facilities that have been damaged are up and running. We're going to look at longer term health issues, including mental health and psycho-social issues," he said. "This is in the news right now, but the flood waters will recede. And for thousands of families in that area, that’s just really the beginning of their recovery process. So I hope people stay engaged, contribute funds to response organizations, and don’t forget that this is going to be a long term recovery effort."
Harvey has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, but flooding is expected to worsen in coming days as intense rainfall continues.