Houston Resident Uses Volunteer Coordination Experience, Tech Skills to Help After Hurricane Harvey
As Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico face the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Points of Light is honoring everyday citizens who stepped up to serve their communities during the immediate response and to embark on the long road to recovery.
When Ronnie Devries realized how many Houston residents were in need following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, he knew he could help. With experience as the volunteer coordinator for TXRX Labs, a local nonprofit “hackerspace,” Ronnie helped create a makeshift command center at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center – which quickly became a shelter for thousands of residents displaced by the storm. Working overnight, he helped set up a system for volunteer coordination to ensure volunteers were matched with all aspects of shelter operations.
Ronnie also developed a hurricane relief curriculum, offering seminars and resources to help guide victims and volunteers through the process of disaster recovery. The curriculum covers everything from sheltering in place to flood damage and home repair, with resources available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese to reach as much of the Houston population as possible.
We spoke with Ronnie to learn more about his experience as a Harvey volunteer and his efforts to help people affected by the storm.