Our Chance to Help the Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Dear Western Colleagues:

Like you, I have been deeply saddened by the images of devastation in the Houston area from Hurricane Harvey.  The loss of life and injury, the homes destroyed and families displaced is beyond imagining, and continues.  Also tragic is the knowledge that the receding floodwaters will leave behind a new host of serious public health issues, not to mention the tremendous challenges of restoring basic services and utilities before the rebuilding process can even begin.  For those who have family or friends affected by the storm, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Western is a caring community whose members are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others.  Thanks to the Combined Fund Drive, we now have a simple and direct way to do just that by donating to badly needed disaster relief and rebuilding efforts.

If you wish to contribute to the relief efforts, the Washington State Combined Fund Drive (CFD) has created a fundraising campaign for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.  As with the regular CFD program, Western employees may choose one or more particular non-profits within the campaign for your donation, and you can give directly from payroll deduction or make a donation with a credit card.  I hope that you will consider joining Uzma and me in making a contribution toward these efforts; even a modest gift can make a difference to those who may have lost everything.

I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage all of us to review our own emergency preparedness plans, both at home, and at work.  We all know that our region is at risk for a catastrophic earthquake, and unlike the victims of Hurricane Harvey we will have next to no advance notice of when the event will happen.  While safety during an earthquake is important, equally critical is our ability to take care of ourselves and others in the very likely event that power, water, and other services will be disrupted for a week or more. 

The www.ready.gov website provides many helpful resources for emergency planning and preparedness, including suggestions on building a disaster kit for your home.

Thank you for putting your compassion into action by considering a donation to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. 

Sincerely,

Sabah