How Programmers & Web Developers Can Help Houston Right Now

Houston is still in danger from the fallout of Hurricane Harvey and it needs your help

For the last 6 days, the city and outlying areas have been rocked by record winds, floods, and the inevitable disasters that befall any urban area after that much damage.

Rescue and recovery efforts kicked in immediately as thousands of volunteers joined emergency responders. In addition, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, stores, and even private homes opened their doors as shelters for evacuees as early as Friday evening when the first storms rocked the coastal regions of Texas.

Image source: New York Times

People walking down a section of Interstate 610 in Houston - [AP Photo/David J. Phillip]

With this amazing flood of volunteers and impromptu shelters, it became immediately apparent these groups needed a way to coordinate their efforts and offer simple and dependable means to people seeking assistance, rescue, and medical attention. As shelters began to take in more flood victims, it also became apparent Houston lacked the tools and information to help volunteers and donations find their way to the areas and shelters most in need.

Over the past 6 days, hundreds of amazing developers, programmers, project managers, graphic designers, user experience and user designers, and more have been working together on web-based solutions to these problems. Many of these tools have been used already to help coordinate rescues as well as inform volunteers and donators on where their help can do the most good.

If you would like to help out and lend your talents to these ongoing projects

Click the button below to sign up to join the Sketch City slack channel. Once you receive your invitation, sign in and join the #Harvey channel. You will find pinned to the channel a "Getting Started" guide that will explain ongoing and planned projects and how to reach out to organizers to help out.

Harvey Needs
Contact @neror Trello #harvey-needs
Texas Rescue Map 
Contact: @brianallenmarketing #texasrescuemap
Muck Map / 
Contact: @tanweer
One Click Relief
Contact: @mesa #oneclickrelief
Needs Map
Contact: @amanda
Data source is the “Needs” tab of Houston-shelter-availability
Shelter Map aka
Contact: @jbui
Data source is the “Shelter” tab of Houston-shelter-availability
Shelters Text Bot
Contact: @compscidixon
General Information @grace & @phil #flood-care-site @eloneil
Sketch City web page @compscidixon

Can't code but still want to help?

So many amazing people and businesses have already pledged millions in donations to help. Here is a list of some of the best ways you can contribute. Be careful where you donate, as there are people who prey on situations like this. Likewise, most of these are based off suggestions of the community including Reddit at /r/houston. Feel free to vet them to your own standards before donating.

On behalf of the city of Houston - Thank you so very much for your help and support!


Jason Ephraim

Campus Director, Houston