Sharing information to protect and support children and youth in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria


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, Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands recovering from hurricanes to protect and support children and youth.  Please, share this information widely and let us know of additional resources. 

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

© Photo - Fox News 


The Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP) provides disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners.

Teachers and schools can help when bad stuff happens. This NPR article contains information for educators to support students experiencing stress and trauma.  

Read and share Disaster Recovery Updates from the National Law Income Housing Coalition
Find information about efforts to restore affordable housing after natural and man-made disasters.

© Photo - Pu Ying Huang, The Texas Tribune 

Federal Policy Update:
House and Senate appropriators are working on the next disaster supplemental spending bill. In the past week, the Texas congressional delegation requested an additional $18.7B, the Puerto Rico congressional delegation requested an additional $4.6B, and the Florida delegation has requested an additional $26.9B in disaster recovery funding. The White House also sent Congress an additional disaster spending request: $5B to assist Puerto Rico with disaster recovery. The House may take up a supplemental spending bill this week, but it’s unclear how many of these requests they’ll include in their bill.


Hurricane Harvey Resources

© Photo - Time Magazine

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, set up by Houston's Mayor Turner and Harris County Judge Emmett, will be hosting two webinars today (October 12) about the fund and the upcoming “Round 2 Grant Information for Nonprofits” process. The distributions and grants will be made in support of relief efforts to aid the victims (regardless of immigration status) of the flooding and other weather caused by Hurricane Harvey, including shelter and temporary housing needs, food and supplies, healthcare, transportation, child care, facility needs of child care and social service agencies.

Many Texas residents affected by hurricane Harvey are facing a growing housing crisis. Displaced are running out of hotel vouchers and are looking to find a place to live. Episcopal Health Foundation captures the extent of hurricane Harvey property damage on their hurricane Harvey resource webpage. Harvey Temporary Housing website connects those with available housing with those in need.  

The Texas Education Agency on Wednesday announced a task force — in conjunction with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission — that will connect Harvey-affected schools, universities and their communities with counselors, training, and funding opportunities as they continue to deal with the after-effects of the destructive storm. 

Additional resources:

  • Child Care Aware compiled a list of resources to assist the child care providers and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
  • 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. Along with the toll-free help line, emotional-support resources and information are available online at
© Photo - Eric Gay, AP

More places to donate:


Hurricane Irma Resources

© Photo - UNICEF

The Florida Division of Emergency Assistance website offers up-to-date information about the recovery process and resources.

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.

© Photo - Tatiana Fernandez, AP

More places to donate:

  1. Donate to the Hurricane Irma Community Recovery Fund.
  2. Give through Global Giving to help those 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.


Hurricane Maria Resources

© Photo - CNN

Hurricane Maria has devastated Puerto Rico and its residents of whom more than 700,000 are children. Eighty-four percent of the island is still without power, and local officials are preparing for six months or more without electricity. Hospitals running on generators are low on power, and conditions on the ground are ripe for the spread of disease. Recovery is slow and no one knows how long it will take.

And, the recovery is still in its infancy on the U.S. Virgin Islands where most of its 100,000 residents still do not have drinkable water and electricity. Learn more about slow recovery efforts in this Guardian article.

The main page for up-to-date resources and information on the federal response to Hurricane Maria.


Colorlines article lists organizations supporting recovery in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.

The Hispanic Federation is designating 100 percent of its Hurricane Relief Fund to recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. To donate via text, compose a new text message for number 41444. Type UNIDOS (space) YOUR AMOUNT (space) and YOUR NAME. (For example: Unidos 100 John Doe) Then press "send" and click on the link to complete your donation. To donate in person, visit any Popular Community Bank branch (account name: Hurricane Relief Effort; checking account number: 6810893500).

Supporting UNICEF’s Hurricane Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico:

Other ways to help:

© Photo - Andres Kudacki, Time Magazine



The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers resources in English, Spanish, Cebuano, and Waray to parents and caregivers on how to assist children and youth to cope with the loss and stress during the recovery process. Read and share Trinka and Sam: The Rainy Windy Day.

LeadingAge and National Church Residences launched a “Hurricane Services for Seniors Hotline” to triage and help match people needing assistance, particularly older adults and people with disabilities. Call 844-259-4747, Monday – Friday, 8 am - 5 pm ET.

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

Resources in Spanish

This is the sixth and the last newsletter in this series. Below please find the links to the previous five editions containing important and still useful 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
Hurricane Harvey and Irma Newsletter 9/21
Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria Newsletter 9/29
Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria Newsletter 10/04

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