Resources for Parents & Caregivers in Texas, Louisiana & Florida

Photo © U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Johanna Strickland via Reuters

Sharing information to protect and support children and youth
in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The Children’s Defense Fund – Texas and Children’s Defense Fund – Southern Regional Office are committed to raising awareness about the challenges facing children, connecting children and families to resources that help to meet their needs, and working with partners to coordinate broad support to improve the well-being of children. The Children’s Defense Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit child advocacy organization that works relentlessly to ensure a level playing field for all children.

This newsletter is published to help families and communities in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida recovering from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma protect and support children and youth – to ease access to basic needs and provide for their psychosocial development through the delivery of health, social, and supportive services.  Please, share this information widely and let us know of additional resources. 

If you have questions, wish to share articles, or have suggestions email us at

Thank you for remembering the most vulnerable among us as recovery begins.

© Photo - Andrea Melendez, The News Press 

Hurricanes can be “a disaster on top of a disaster” for people of color and people living in poverty. Doctor On Demand and AmWell are offering free medical services to all affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana and those affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida.

REMINDER: If you or someone you know needs assistance, support, or referrals in any of the counties impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma call 2-1-1 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hurricane Harvey Resources

© Photo - Gerald Herbert, AP

Food insecurity in focus after Harvey
Food banks and pantries in Harvey-affected areas are bracing for the months of recovery ahead. The Southeast Texas Food Bank lists many ways you can help recovery efforts.

Life After Evacuation Shelter

The final evacuees are leaving the Houston Convention Center. In this ABC article find additional information about the recovery process. It also includes a city-issued list of agencies and companies contributing products, services, and volunteer time for those in need. Children’s Defense Fund – Texas is one of the organizations on the list.  

Harvey children© Scott OlsonGetty Images.jpg
© Photo - Scott Olson, Getty Images 

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services: Resources/How to Help:

Free help line: Optum is offering a free emotional-support help line to impacted individuals. The toll-free number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources. Along with the toll-free help line, emotional-support resources and information are available online at

Additional resources:

© Photo - Mark Wilson, Getty Images

More places to donate:

Hurricane Irma Resources

© Photo - UNICEF

Just weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area, Hurricane Irma caused significant damage in Florida and the Caribbean.

To help:

  1. Donate to the Hurricane Irma Community Recovery Fund.
  2. Give through Global Giving to help affected in the Caribbean. After ensuring emergency response is covered, this fund will shift to longer term reconstruction.
  3. Support women living in temporary shelters by donating to Support the Girls

FEMA opens Hurricane Irma disaster recovery center in South Florida
The center is open seven days a week. FEMA is looking to open additional centers in coming weeks in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Find more in the Sun Sentinel article.

Miami Dade County
Visit recovery website to find the latest information (FEMA assistance, transit, tolls, animal services…) about recovery and cleanup efforts in the Miami-Dade County.

Volunteering opportunity
For 25 years, Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade has 'rebuilt' homes for the most vulnerable in the community. Join to help the Leisure City neighborhoods recover from the storm.

Power Outages
Florida Power and Light (FPL) is in the process of restoring service as quickly as possible with 60% already restored. Call 800-468-8243 to report outage. 

Back to School
Most schools and universities in Florida have resumed classes. Find out more from this News 13 article

Irma©Carlos Giusti:AP.jpg
© Photo - Carlos Giusti, AP


Tips for Parents: Helping Kids Cope with Hurricane Harvey” (from Save the Children)

How To Help Your Children Cope After Hurricane Harvey” (from Forbes)

Talking to Children about Disasters” with additional resources  (from the American Academy of Pediatrics)

Taking Care of Yourself during Disasters: Info for Parents” with additional resources (from the American Academy of Pediatrics) 

Resources in Spanish

© Photo - UNICEF

This is the third newsletter in the series. Below please find the links to the previous two containing important and still relevant information for people affected by the hurricanes and those who want to help them.

Hurricane Harvey Newsletter 9/7
Hurricane Harvey and Irma Newsletter 9/14

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