Israeli rescue experts are heading to hurricane-ravaged Texas to do what they do best: rush to the scene of a natural disaster and dig in to help those hit hardest by the storm.
IsraAID, an Israeli international humanitarian organization, said on Tuesday it was sending a team of experts from Israel and the U.S. to assist Texas residents dealing with the after effects of Tropical Storm Harvey.
IsraAID, which is coordinating with local Jewish communities, local government in Texas and the Israeli Consul General, plans to deploy 5-7 experts to provide two-stage response to the disaster, with the first stage focusing on removing debris and cleaning homes, then offering psychosocial trauma support to residents.
“In crises with large-scale destruction, national and international aid efforts typically focus on practical, physical support, with limited resources allocated to the mental and emotional rehabilitation of affected populations,” said Yotam Polizer, co-CEO of IsraAID.
“For the most vulnerable groups, notably children and the elderly, time is of critical importance; the longer these groups are forced to remain in shelters, the higher the chance of long-term mental health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a disorder that can have a debilitating and long-term impact.”
Meanwhile, the American Jewish Committee announced a $34,000 grant of aid to the victims of flooding in Texas. This grant will be provided to the American Red Cross, IsraAID and the Jewish Family Service of Houston.