What Is Normal? - Hurricane Harvey Recovery


This week, as businesses reopened their doors, and a good majority of the population of Houston returned to their normal routine, I couldn't help but think about those families who are currently living with half walls throughout their entire homes. Or the families who were either just able to get back into their homes or are still awaiting the opportunity to survey the damage while their home is still under water. How easy would it be for those who were not affected by the storm to go about our days as if things are fine. As if things are normal. There are still so many families who are struggling to make sense of it all. Who are searching to find the next step. Who are still in desperate need of assistance as they clean out their homes. 

Imagine you were just recently married. You had just settled into your beautiful new home, only to have it flooded just one year after you signed the papers. Imagine that you are a family of 6 with 4 children under the age of 11, and you got word that you needed to evacuate and leave your home only to watch the flood waters infiltrate your home on your security cameras. Or perhaps your home was so overtaken by the flood to the point to where you weren't even able to get in and survey the damage for 2 weeks or more after the storm had passed. And now some of these families, the lucky ones, have kind strangers lending a hand while working to move their belongings, floors and walls onto their front lawns to be collected by FEMA's garbage collectors. I can only imagine how overwhelming of a feeling that is. These are real life stories, and that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the people affected by what Harvey dumped on our city.  

FEMA will only does so much. Insurance companies only carry them so far(if anywhere at all). A lot of these families didn't have flood insurance since they aren't zoned for flooding. So where does that leave them?

My hope and prayer is that the new normal will involve continuous searching for those who are in need. So often a natural disaster like the one our city and state has endured draws a community together in such a powerful way, but then the inevitable happens. Overtime, our lives start to draw us back into our own inward-looking lives, and we quickly forget that there are still people hurting. Let us not forget! There are several opportunities around our city, and there will always be opportunities to lend a hand. May we never stop searching and looking beyond ourselves to find ways to help.   

Homeowner coming out for fresh air and a drink of water.

Homeowner coming out for fresh air and a drink of water.

Let us not forget!


Let us rally as a community, as a city, as a state, and as a country to continue to support the ones who feel as though they've lost everything. May they be reminded that they are not alone. That there are people who care. And that there are people who are willing to put themselves in the dirt and muck to offer the help that is needed!


If you are one of those people, then here is a short list of organizations and groups of hard working people who would welcome your support! Also, if you would like to help the family who's home appears in the photos above, here is the link to their GoFundMe account. Every little bit helps, and I know Aaron and Chelsea would be more than blessed by your donations!

Cane Island Harvey Recovery Crew - for those who are looking to be hands on in the rebuild of our great city!!

Houston's First Baptist Church - Love First - For those who are looking to make financial or supply donations, this is the place to look. They have very specific lists of supplies that they need donated, as well as a place to donate cash for those who would prefer that method.

Samaritan's Purse International Relief - A fantastic organization that reaches all across the world to help those in need. They have bases set up around Houston to accept donations and volunteers, as well as the monetary donation available on their website. This one is specific to Harvey, and they also have more set up for Hurrican Irma.

Houston Flood Relief Fund - organized by J.J. Watt - Everyone knows about this one, so here is an easy access point for you to help in that way as well.

Thank you to everyone who has already done so much to help! May we continue to march on!

Keep it real,
Nikki G.

Documenting your family's
real life story
not just your outward appearance


Olive Shoot Photography
Houston Family Photographer
Houston Documentary Family Photographer