Help after Harvey

Be sure to check that your charity of choice is reputable

For those of us with friends and relatives in southeast Texas, our first order of business early this week was making sure they were safe in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the most destructive natural disaster in the Lone Star State in a generation.

Next, with the storm continuing to pound Houston and its surrounding regions, and heading on to Louisiana—on the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina—we stayed glued to our computers, phones and TV screens for updates on the downgraded tropical storm that retained enough strength to further devastate the Gulf of Mexico.

Sadly, our commander in chief was of little comfort to the Texans enduring the catastrophic flooding that has led to the deaths of an estimated 30 people. During President Trump’s brief visit to Corpus Christi—a city spared by the floodwaters—POTUS called the hurricane “epic” and turned the spotlight on himself.

That didn’t go unnoticed, especially by those in neighboring Louisiana, where the paper of record of New Orleans, the Times-Picayune, reported that Trump “remarked on the size of the crowd as if he were at a rally.” That’s a pretty stinging rebuke from a city that is all too familiar with the devastation borne of hurricanes.

Though the Houston area is more than 2,000 miles from Chico, there are ways to help the region during this catastrophe. Our suggestion: Reach out with a donation to a reputable charitable organization. It’s easy to find nonprofits taking contributions, but make sure your dollar is stretched to the utmost by cross-referencing what you find at Charity Navigator (—a website with ratings based on financial health, accountability and transparency.

An estimated 80 percent of those dispossessed by Hurricane Harvey do not have flood insurance, so now is a time for generosity.