HOUSTON, Aug. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Devastating flooding continues in Houston, the country's fourth largest city, where droves of people stranded and displaced by the deadly floods from Hurricane Harvey are being transported to nearby evacuation centers and shelters. The biggest rainstorm in the history of the continental United States, the life-threatening storm has killed at least 22 people and has left thousands of families seeking refuge.
Save the Children is expanding its emergency response in Texas, assessing needs in Houston and Dallas, and acting quickly to bring truckloads of infant and toddler supplies to four shelters in Austin today, while strengthening its work to support children in area shelters.
Officials anticipate that more than 30,000 Texas residents will need shelter including in three mega shelters located in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Save the Children has teams on the ground, and at the request of the City of Austin, is en route to the city's four major shelters with essential items including portable cribs and sheets, strollers, baby wash basins, hygiene kits and lotion packs.
Save the Children opened its first Child-Friendly Space Monday at Kazen Middle School in San Antonio and is now working to establish additional spaces in Houston and Dallas, with thousands of Houston residents from Houston in the next few days. The organization is also working with local officials and partners to get more volunteers out to help.
Child-Friendly Spaces are safe, well-supervised areas within shelters where children can play, socialize and begin to recover from the disaster, while allowing their parents to concentrate on addressing the family's immediate and longer-term needs.
"Child-Friendly Spaces are a hallmark of Save the Children's emergency response, and are essential in helping children cope and build resiliency during disasters," said Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, the organization's senior director of U.S. emergencies. "We are working hard to make sure that children and families in Texas are getting the supplies and care they need."
"We are evaluating the immediate needs for families who are being rescued in Houston, and those who are still stranded," added De Marrais. "We know the longer-term needs will be in Houston and we're determined to get child care and early education programs up and running as quickly as possible."
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Note to Editors: Experts in Texas Available for Interview and Photos Available for Download HERE
SOURCE Save the Children