I had another DNA article ready for my normal mid-week technical DNA publication, but given the suffering taking place in Texas right now, I just can’t.
The rains continue. The hurricane is now partially out to sea in the Gulf and may make landfall again. God help these people.
If Harvey isn’t yet, it may well be the most devastating natural disaster to ever strike in the continental US. Harvey has already dumped 9 trillion gallons of water on southeast Texas, and Harvey isn’t done yet. Yes, 9 TRILLION.
A Washington Post article says if Houston hits the 60 inches of rain mark, and they are close now, it will be a once in a million year event.
Sixty inches is 5 feet of rain, within a few days time. There just isn’t anyplace for the water to go. Two levies were breached today and a dam overflowed. And it’s still raining.
Estimates are that more than one fourth of the land in Harris County is flooded right now, with many of the 6.6 million residents needing to be rescued by boat. For details, this article provides bullet points.
Personally, I simply can’t sit by and NOT help, but I’m not there. Thankfully, I think.
However, those of us who live at a distance can still help… and the need is great.
Many of you know that I’m a quilter. I quilt with two close friends, sisters of heart, and we make quilt tops that are then quilted by a fourth friend. We call ourselves the Quilt Sisters and the quilts we make are often donated to those in need. We call them “Care Quilts.”
One of the items sorely needed in Houston now is blankets according to CNN News and other sources.
Tomorrow morning I will be sending 5 items, 4 quilts (1 child, 3 adult) and one baby sized crocheted afghan to Austin, Texas for the people there who have been evacuated from Houston and southeast Texas in the wake of hurricane Harvey. I will put a note of encouragement with each one as well.
I am not posting photos of the quilts because I don’t want the quilts to overshadow the story or distract from the need.
I am contributing the quilts through The Linus Project. While the Linus Project normally provides quilts for children in need, they are providing what they can for everyone of any age at this time. Austin has thousands of people in shelters who have been evacuated from the Houston area and more evacuees are still flooding in. These people have lost everything and arrive, wet and cold, with literally nothing except their lives.
Anyone who has an extra quilt or a blanket, please send it to:
The Linus Connection
P.O Box 29491
Austin, Texas 78755
The Linus Project can receive boxes at their PO box, so long as they are shipped by the post office.
For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not a quilter? You can still help.
Here’s an article in the New York Times about how to donate to help flood victims to a variety of organizations and how to avoid hurricane Harvey related scams. Yes, there are already scams.
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Family Tree DNA Update
Now, for an update on Family Tree DNA, most employees are safe and at least marginally dry. Some have evacuated. Many don’t have power. Communications is dicey. Everyone is affected one way or another and they all need your thoughts and prayers, not to mention patience, right now.
The office was closed on Monday and today, Tuesday as well. Amazingly enough, even though they have turned off their e-mail servers, their website is still up and functional. They still have power and the building is not flooded. Houston learned a lot when hurricane Ike struck a few years ago. Little did they know Ike was just a practice drill.
We are extremely thankful for your patience and concern for our employees. The Family Tree DNA building has remained fairly unharmed by the floods but our first concern is for our employees. Therefore, we have closed the office until it is safe for them to commute. We expect the office to open up later this week and will keep you updated.
In the mean time, we want to address many of the questions we are getting from our extended family at Family Tree DNA.
- Is my DNA safe?
Yes, your DNA is safe. Our building has remained fairly unharmed and the lab is located on one of the top floors of the building. We’ve had people monitoring everything and can tell you that your DNA is safe and protected. We were well prepared for this at the building.
- If I’ve bought a test recently is it okay to ship back or should I wait?
Yes, it is okay to ship back. The post office will hold it until they are able to deliver.
- Can I still order a test, add-on, or upgrade?
Yes, you can still place orders online. Some customer service members are working from home but they are stretched thin. Therefore, we ask that you place all orders online.
- Order fulfillment and shipping:
NEW KIT ORDERS: As soon as it is safe for our employees to commute we will hit the ground running to get any new test kits shipped out. We hope to be back in the office by the middle or end of this week. Therefore, shipping may be delayed by a few days.
EXISTING KIT ORDERS: If you have ordered an add-on test or upgrade we do not expect your results to be delayed by more than one or two days from the average fulfillment time. This is due to the fact that we already have your DNA at the lab.
- I ordered a kit but have not received a confirmation email:
Our servers are currently turned off in the building. If you did not receive a confirmation email, expect to have one in your inbox in the next day or so. We apologize.
Again, we appreciate your patience and will continue to update you.
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