Monday, September 4, 2017
Now that Hurricane Harvey's threat to the United States has dissipated, we can begin to fully appreciate the damage it has caused to person, property, and business. It's staggering. The screenshot included above was captured from the Houston Chronicle's website yesterday. Although I am not sure how one calculates such things, Wikipedia notes that, "[b]ased on current damage estimates made by multiple agencies, Hurricane Harvey is likely to be at least the second-most costly natural disaster in U.S. history, behind only Hurricane Katrina in 2005." I am heartbroken for all those who have lost so much, yet grateful for those who survived such a wicked storm, including the BLPB's own Doug Moll.
I am confident that too many folks are using this holiday weekend--one they had hoped to spend enjoying last-of-summer moments with family and friends--mourning the loss of life and digging out from the mess at their homes or workplaces. The damage in Tennessee from the related rain and winds was significant but pales in comparison to what the folks have suffered and continue to contend with in Houston and the surrounding areas. Luckily, the storm threw very little at Knoxville, since the heart of it passed to the West of us. West and middle Tennessee were hit harder.
Many of us give to local and national charities at times like this, not knowing what else we might have to offer from afar. Certainly, financial support directed to the right paces is always a good idea. But there's more we, as licensed attorneys, can do. As you may have heard, the Texas Supreme Court has entered an order to permit the practice of Texas law by out-of-state licensed attorneys. Our dean informed us about a helpful information page on the ABA website that you may want to check out that includes related and other information about how attorneys can help through and outside the ABA. And there are many other websites with valuable information that we can either pass on or use to help. Among others, on Labor Day, I might recommend the Department of Labor's website, which has a webpage dedicated to recovery efforts.
I know it's early for Thanksgiving, but let's all take a moment to be grateful for what we have this Labor Day. For me, having a job that I love that enables me to help others while working with really intelligent and kind people is something to be grateful for every day. Labor Day is a good day to remember that, so I have chosen an image to honor that sentiment below. But let's also take a moment to reflect on those whose lives and homes and work have been destroyed or disrupted by Hurricane Harvey and consider how we can play a role in the recovery. Happy Labor Day, y'all.