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Monitoring Irma and José While Harvey Relief Rolls On

It’s been eleven days since Harvey made landfall, and flood waters are receding. Team Rubicon’s Area Command is established in Houston to coordinate and support responses in multiple communities of Texas, including Rockport, Magnolia, Friendswood, Beaumont, and others across Harris County.

A strike team tackles chainsaw work in Rockport, TX, where Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25.

Currently, 212 volunteers have deployed to hurricane-impacted communities in Texas while another 495 provide remote support, including 374 men and women who have taken over 5,000 requests for assistance through the Crisis Cleanup hotline. Team Rubicon is working to deploy hundreds of members in the next four days to tackle the massive clean-up effort that lies ahead.

Our National Operations Center is closely monitoring Category 5 Hurricane Irma, churning in the Atlantic heading toward the Caribbean Islands and making its way toward the Gulf and Eastern coasts of the U.S. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm José has formed further east in the Atlantic and Tropical Depression 13 (to be named Katia) isn’t far behind.

Tracking and planning for inclement weather across the Atlantic.

If you’re in the predicted path of Irma, now’s the time to prepare for this potential dangerous storm.

1. Prepare an emergency kit

  • One gallon of water per person for at least three days
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food items
  • Tools – flashlight, radio, whistle, wrench, pliers, can opener, plastic sheeting, duct tape, and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit – items for wound care, disinfecting, and pain management
  • Sanitation and hygiene – toilet paper, moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties
  • Communication – cell phone and charger
  • Navigation – local maps with important landmarks indicated
  • Important documents – copies of insurance papers, bank records, and personal identification in sealed plastic bags
  • Additional supplies – for babies and pets

2. Know your evacuation routes and prepare options for overnight lodging

Storm surge can sometimes cut off evacuation routes, so do not delay leaving if an evacuation is ordered for your area. If you encounter floodwaters, remember – turn around, don’t drown. More on floodwater safety.

3. Develop an emergency communication plan

This includes the telephone numbers of family members or friends outside the area—a point of contact—in the event of separation when a storm hits. Also carry the contact information for local public health and safety agencies (fire, police, hospitals, etc.)

Download the FEMA mobile app (available in English and Spanish) for a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.

Get updates on our operations by following Team Rubicon on Twitter.
Interested in volunteering with the team? Start here.
Help us help those impacted by Harvey by making a donation.


A former U.S. Army infantry captain and Iraq veteran, Dennis Clancey joined Team Rubicon as a volunteer in 2014, responding to the 2015 Nepal earthquakes and Texas floods. In September 2015, he joined the organization full-time as the Deputy Director in charge of global disaster response.