The story has all but disappeared from the National media, but the after effects of Hurricane Ike are still being felt acutely by people in Galveston and other coastal communities. Many people forced to evacuate have landed in other Texas cities like Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas, and many are without a reliable means to communicate with friends and loved ones. Some may not have arrived with their mobile phones, and many may not have had mobile phones to begin with. Arriving in a strange city with only the clothes on your back is scary enough; imagine not having a way for people to get in touch with you.
The Community Voice Mail programs in Austin and San Antonio are now working with other local charities and FEMA to make free voice mail boxes available to Ike evacuees in those cities. Not only will recipients be able to provide this number to their friends and loved ones, but they can also receive broadcast voice mail messages from our local CVM Managers providing them with accurate, timely information about available services, etc. Obtaining accurate information during and after an emergency is very difficult, and we hope these Community Voice Mail boxes will help.
Houston was also hit hard by Hurricane Ike, and while the Houston CVM office hasn't officially reopened for business, CVM clients in that city are still getting broadcast voice and email messages about emergency services from Scot More, the Houston CVM Manager. Take a look at the Houston CVM blog to see the information that Scot is making available to his clients and others in the city. (These blog postings reproduce information sent by broadcast voice and email messages to CVM clients in Houston).
Finally, if you want to see some amazing photos of Hurricane Ike, be sure to see the set of photos compiled by the Boston Globe. The photo above was taken from this archive. It shows a block in downtown Houston located approximately 6 blocks from the Houston CVM office. Wow. (Photo credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Sept. 13, 2008)