Hurricane Harvey helpers show their mettle
About the only good news coming out of south Texas these days is the remarkable efforts of citizen rescue teams helping stranded people escape the record breaking rainstorm and hurricane.
In the cities of Corpus Christi, Port Arthur, Houston and surrounding towns, a veritable navy of private citizens from all over Texas and Louisiana are using high-tech apps to coordinate the rescue of thousands of the unfortunate stranded in their homes without power, egress, or transportation. Using Zello, a marvelous sort of walkie-talkie app, Glympse, a GPS app that shows user’s location, open street maps, and online data bases with the status of people in need of help, these southerners are making FEMA look like amateurs. If you tune in to the conversation on Zello, the picture you’ll get is of hundreds and possibly thousands of men and women dead set on rescuing their brethren from this biblical flood.
Dare I say red neck meets high tech and puts us all to shame with their resourcefulness, determination to help complete strangers, arsenal of boats, chain saws, extra-duty trucks, trailers, and general good-samaritan attitude.
There will be time to consider this disaster in social, political and scientific terms in the weeks ahead. Hint: It has to do with not enough switch grass pasture, too much asphalt, and — wait for it — a fast warming atmosphere.
But right now we should all be rooting for the citizen navies hellbent for Beaumont and armed with the techiest apps, the nastiest air boats, and an attitude that would do the Continental Army of our origin proud.
There are lots of groups that could use your help and cash is almost always more helpful than personal effects. A short internet search will point you to a dozen groups worthy of your support.
Mark Harvey (no relation)
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