Texas is still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that left the state devastated. Residents are still facing incessant rains that are so intense the National Weather Service has added a new color on their precipitation map to showcase this condition. Harvey is a disaster so widespread and so “present” that it is difficult to estimate the exact amount of damage that it has caused. Locals have joined hands to create rescue teams and help those who have been affected as a result of this calamity.
Several tech companies have also stepped up initiatives on their end to help affected ones.
Apple created a “Donate” button in their iTunes store. People can donate through purchases on iTunes and the amount collected will go directly to the American Red Cross. Donors can contribute any amount from $5 to $200 through this function. The payment will be processed through the same channel that is linked with the users iTunes account.
Google has also jumped in by contributing an equal amount that matches employee contributions. The search giant has pledged to contribute $1 million in donations for all relief efforts, in collaboration with the American Red Cross.
The company has also displayed emergency numbers and Houston specific alerts, maps, and other resources to help people get in touch with aid.
Social media giant Facebook is running a campaign on its platform, pledging to contribute $1 million to help the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Facebook also enabled a feature to mark one as “Safe” to help people convey messages to their loved ones.
Other tech companies who have contributed to the relief are Amazon, Lyft, Microsoft, and Uber. Airbnb is also contributing by waiving fees and opening up its platform for affected people to take shelter. The company has also partnered with hosts who rent out their properties on the platform to provide free lodging to those who are affected.
Ride hailing company Uber is offering free rides between shelters in Houston, Austin, Dallas, and other cities.