Donor Resources for Winter Storms

Roadway covered in snow in Houston, Texas on Feb. 15, 2021. (Source: Texas DOT Houston)

Looking out the window across my computer monitor, I am struck by the snow-covered cars, trees, sidewalks and streets. Nashville, my hometown, has been blanketed this week by a blend of ice, snow, ice and more snow. It is a bit of a treacherous layer cake that means I will not be driving for days to come, but while Tennessee may be cold, we have power. The fridge and the furnace at my home are functioning just fine.

Meanwhile, frigid temperatures across Texas and other parts of the U.S. southeast have left millions of residents faring considerably poorer and thousands dangerously so. According to the Texas Tribune, water problems are mounting, and food is running scarce; hospitals in Austin are running out of water, forcing some to transfer patients. Furthermore, the Tribune reports that Texas leaders failed to heed warnings that left the state’s power grid vulnerable to winter extremes; the weather crisis is disrupting the supply chain resulting in food shortages. Governor Abbot and other state leaders blame green energy for the power outages even though the state runs primarily on fossil fuels.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) is deeply concerned about the winter storm’s impact on communities of color, people living in poverty and other underserved communities. While it cannot go unnoticed that the power outages are attributable to governmental failure, the numbers of affected individuals and households are alarming.

Below are donor resources that can assist as you consider ways to support communities disproportionately affected by recent winter storms:

  • Our Winter Storms profile provides an overview of the storm’s impacts across the southeast, including Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
  • Our Extreme Cold Issue Insight unpacks the deadly nature of weather events that hit areas not typically accustomed to cold weather and offers advice on how to help.
  • Our Electricity and Power Infrastructure and Systems Issue Insight offers vital facts and ways to mitigate against future outages.
  • Our Basic Tips for Disaster Giving highlights ways to keep our disaster-focused grantmaking both simple and highly effective. Remember, we are all disaster funders.

Finally, the CDP Disaster Recovery Fund allows donors to target contributions to meet specific philanthropic goals for any domestic disaster to support medium- to long-term recovery work in the U.S. We welcome your contribution to our Fund, which can easily be restricted to the current winter storms.

Our Fund is carefully stewarded by CDP staff. Our disaster management, philanthropic and geographic expertise across Texas and the Gulf Coast afford us a unique perspective on allocating dollars to support those most in need.

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