Reaching out for Hurricane Harvey

Through it all®

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is committed to standing with our members in sickness and in health and during times of difficulty – like we have for nearly 90 years.

When Hurricane Harvey hit southeast Texas, BCBSTX took immediate action to offer support to those impacted, including members, employees and communities. During the first week, BCBSTX donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief fund. We also donated in-kind items to local organizations and created outreach opportunities so employees could volunteer their time, resources and/or financial assistance.

Hurricane Harvey Giving and Partnership

We also knew the road to recovery would be extensive and it would take some time to identify the region’s long-term needs. In 2017, BCBSTX donated $2 million to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, helping six organizations:

American Red Cross helps during emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group Fund – Rockport area – helps meet educational needs and improves the quality of life in the Coastal Bend area of Texas through grants to charitable organizations.

Feeding Texas is a statewide nonprofit leading a unified effort to end hunger and distributing food to those in need.

Greater Houston Community Foundation distributes money to smaller organizations, to see that the donations have the maximum impact such as the The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. This fund was set up by Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett to focus on immediate and long-term relief efforts in Harris County and Houston, including city residents in Fort Bend or Montgomery County.

Texas Care Van® Enhanced Community Response provides access to immunizations, oral care and health education for uninsured and medically underserved children throughout Texas.

The United Way of Greater Houston supports families and individuals when they are going through a crisis, like job loss, domestic violence and natural disasters.

Hurricane Harvey and Care Van

The Caring for Children Foundation Care Van Program partnered with the Houston Health Department to deploy nurses and medical professionals for a coordinated response to assist displaced families. The Texas Care Vans and Oklahoma Caring Vans worked to identify and meet the medical needs of those impacted by the storm.

Through mobile health outreach, more than 500 evacuees in the Greater Houston area have received a free Tetanus or Tdap vaccine that protects against three bacterial diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

Hurricane Harvey and Our Employees

The Hurricane Harvey Backpack Supply Drive was held in the Houston office, in September, Houston employees packed over 1,600 critical need bags. The bags were evenly distributed to four local organizations, The Houston Area Urban League, Kids’ Meals, Catholic Charities, and the City of Houston Department of Health & Human Services. The bags included healthy snacks, water, dental kits, soap and feminine products. In addition to the drive, Houston office employees also volunteered their time at the Houston Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and the SPCA.

As part of our response, the Seasons of Life team was on the job. The team’s customer advocate specialists reached out to hundreds of households — answering insurance questions, issuing replacement ID cards, finding network providers, reordering prescriptions and linking callers to resources like FEMA and the American Red Cross.

Learn more how the Seasons of Life team offered invaluable support during a difficult time in Houston on our website, Making the Health Care System Work.

Hurricane Harvey help from Oklahoma

Our colleagues in Oklahoma provided on-the-ground support with the Customer Advocate and Think Blue teams. With their help, we printed new insurance cards, gave guidance to existing members and provided quotes to people who needed coverage.

They provided face-to-face assistance for up to 4,000 evacuees in the Houston and surrounding areas. Visitors utilized the free Wi-Fi, charging stations and live TV streaming at the BCBSOK Mini MAC mobile assistance unit for personal use. The Community Affairs team distributed helpful items like hand sanitizer, bags, first aid kits, tissues, bottled water, healthy snacks and more. And BCBSTX’s very own warm and fuzzy-faced ambassador, Blue Bear℠, handed out coloring books and crayons to the kids at the shelter.

Learn about our efforts in this video from BCBSTX President Dr. Dan McCoy:

 

For additional details on our efforts, please visit:

Hurricane Harvey: Supporting Our Employees and Their Communities

Hurricane Harvey: Meeting Health Coverage Needs in a Time of Crisis