August 29th, 2017
The rain and destruction from Hurricane Harvey continue to affect people throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast, and with floodwaters continuing to rise, immediate action is needed. I’ve called Texas home since 1989, and I’m heartened to see how people are coming together to support each other during this crisis. Neighbors are rescuing one another, and people are bringing their boats and resources to save lives. I’m proud to work for a company that brings the best of its products, people, and philanthropy in times of need.
On Sunday, we shared our efforts to give funds to organizations helping those affected, and provide resources through SOS Alerts and products. So far, we’ve committed $750K through Google.org and employee giving, and in total we are committing $2M from Google to relief efforts. Today, we’re expanding that support, and with your help, we can increase the impact. We’ve also continued to update our SOS Alerts and Crisis Map to make sure people in the affected areas are getting the most up-to-date information, directly from trusted sources.
$1M Matching Campaign for the American Red Cross
We’re kicking off a matching campaign at https://www.google.org/harvey-relief to support the American Red Cross (ARC), and Google.org will match your donations up to $1,000,000. ARC is the leading nonprofit responder in the flood regions, and has been working tirelessly on the ground to open shelters and distribute supplies to people in Texas and across the Gulf coast.
Google Trends have also shown us that people around the country want to support the relief effort, with top “How-to” questions including, “How to help Houston flood victims,” and “How to volunteer to help with Harvey.”
With more than 450 Google employees based in Texas, we’re also committed to supporting Texas’s road to recovery with our volunteers. We’re working with local nonprofits to identify needs in the area and find ways our employees can be most helpful. We are exploring ways to support efforts of TEGNA—the state’s largest television station owner—with up to $500K in funds for the “Texas Cares” fundraising effort underway for Hurricane Harvey relief.
SOS Alerts and Google Public Alerts
Since Harvey made initial landfall, the Google Crisis Response team has been working to ensure people affected by the storm have access to timely, official information about the event. In addition to the previously launched SOS alert for Texas, now people have access to an SOS Alert for Houston, which includes Coast Guard rescue information and ready.gov safety tips for the flooding, along with local news, tweets, and other safety-oriented information. Additionally, people in affected areas can see published road closure and shelter information, sourced from users in the affected areas, along with recent aerial imagery of affected areas, as flown by NOAA. This information, in concert with official government alerts for the area being disseminated via Google Public Alerts we hope keeps users safe and informed during this trying crisis.
With the storm making a second landfall, we are actively monitoring the storm and are preparing an alert for the coast of Louisiana.
Stay safe out there.