I'm a retired Air Force officer (JAG - love my Corps!). The title of this blog reflects the old Air Force Doctrine Document 1-1 (pronounced One Dash One), "Flexibility is the key to air superiority". Nowhere is flexibility more in evidence today than in Houston and southeast Texas, where nobody's waiting for somebody else to jump in and be about the work of rescue, response, reprovisioning and shelter. Texas and Louisiana boat owners have poured into the area, giving relief and supplementation to government resources stretched beyond the maximum, going house to house and neighborhood to neighborhood in search of stranded residents. Churches like Christ Church UMC in Sugarland (www.christchurchsl.org/) and Bayou City Fellowship (http://bayoucityfellowship.com/) - the churches my kids attend - have sheltered evacuees and marshalled and distributed desperately needed assets, coordinating with local authorities but not waiting for permission, simply being the hands and feet of Christ to those in need, even while many parishioners and staff are dealing with their own flood-related challenges. It is a mighty work to behold and reminds me powerfully that, in the words of one of my recent favorite Facebook posts, "Charlottesville isn't America, Houston is America". Houston Texans defensive monster J.J. Watt's fundraising efforts have garnered over $4 million in about four days. Color and background and personal lifestyle choices are nowhere to be seen; they - we - are just neighbors to be loved as ourselves. Blessings and prayers for safety, stamina and perseverance to all those in need and all those assisting.
On the legal side for you who are affected by Harvey, some tips:
1. blog.texasbar.com/2017/08/articles/guest-blog/vick-state-bar-has-legal-resources-to-help-during-harvey/ has some great tips and links for disaster-related legal services, most of which are free.
2. Don't pay anybody cash to help you connect to resources, or start cleaning up your property, or get "on the list" for repairing your house, and DON'T BE PRESSURED. Shysters and evil, ungodly opportunists abound and walk about like wolves in sheeps' clothing wherever they perceive an opportunity to prey on the temporarily weak.
3. If you have flood insurance, contact your insurance company promptly, even before you can get back to assess the damage. If you have renter's insurance, same advice.
4. If you don't have flood insurance on your property, FEMA loans will be available. Keep on top of announcements of when/where/how to apply.
Most of all, thank God for the people who are willing to pitch in and help, whether paid first responders, Cajun Navy or your down-the-street neighbor. And look around for that same opportunity - there's always somebody worse off than you. Hands and feet, people. Hands and feet. God bless.