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WhatsApp & Hurricane Harvey

WhatsApp & Hurricane Harvey

Friday, 1 September, 2017 - 6:00 am

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Hurricane Harvey.jpg

Undoubtedly the ‘news story of the week’ is the tragedy that unfolded in Texas in the wake of ‘Harvey’ – the first major hurricane to hit the USA since 2005 – that dumped more than 1 metre of water over eastern Texas and displaced more than 30,000 people inside 4 days. At the latest count 47 people have sadly lost their lives.

It is, when issues of this magnitude arise, that the depth of the human spirit can be felt most. Take for example this one situation:

- Via WhatsApp a woman from Houston sends a message to her daughter-in-law in London that she is stuck with limited food, in rising water with no help coming from the rescue services

- Her daughter-in-law calls a Chabad House in London

- The Chabad Rebbetzin calls her brother in Los Angeles

- 8.28am – the brother in LA puts out a message on his Yeshiva WhatsApp group alerting his network

- 8.39am – the Houston Rabbi posts that his wife has contacted the trapped lady

- 10:02am – the Houston Rabbi informs all concerned that the lady has been rescued

A beautiful example of how social media can be used for great things.

Two former IDF soldiers, now part of the Chabad Community in Houston, use a borrowed military vehicle and their own IDF experience to rescue victims trapped by Hurricane Harvey and the flood. See the video here. 

See below for more incredible links to stories of relief efforts:

As Houston Flood Waters Rise, So Does the Kindness of Strangers

First Relief Trucks Reach Houston Jewish Community

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