Hurricane Harvey has become one of the most destructive natural disasters in U.S history, only coming in second to Hurricane Katrina as the costliest natural disaster in the country. With an estimated $180 billion in damages and a rising death toll of at least 60, the impact of the hurricane has been felt across the nation.
Dickinson, a city 40 minutes away from Houston, was one of the many local neighborhoods ravaged by heavy flooding.
Eric Overton, a Houston-based MSP and owner of Inside the Address, was able to capture the Harvey aftermath in Dickinson using his Matterport camera. Overton scanned the homes of two Dickinson residents: his family-friend and his grandparents. According to Overton, his grandparents and family-friend needed damage documentation for their insurance adjusters, and he suggested that he could scan their homes for them.
“[My grandparents] were looking for the floorplan so they could remodel, but it had been washed away with everything else they own,” Overton said. “Then I had a light bulb moment and told them I could use Matterport to get them a floorplan and help document everything.”
Kingwood, a suburb in Houston, faced massive damage when the hurricane hit their community. Tony Spearink, another Houston-based MSP and founder of AllWays3D, captured the homes of his friends. Spearink hopes that by using Matterport, he can shed light on how some of these local Houston communities are affected.
“We had seen TV images of boats helping to rescue people from their flooded homes, but very few people actually get to see inside the homes,” Spearink said. “With the Matterport experience, we wanted to broadcast the reality of this tragedy to people who wouldn’t be able to experience it for themselves.”
By capturing these damaged homes, both Overton and Spearink have given others a small glimpse into the kind of destruction inflicted by Harvey on Houston-area residents.
On the positive, Overton has observed firsthand how his local community is coming together to aid others. “People have come together and come out of the woodwork to help each other,” Overton said. “You see people going house-to-house and church-to-church bringing food and water.”
The team at Matterport sends our deepest sympathy to the victims affected by Hurricane Harvey’s devastation and has made a charitable donation to the United Way of Greater Houston in support. While we can only imagine the struggles, sadness, and sorrow of those most affected by the storm, we understand the importance of coming together and rebuilding a community even stronger than the one which stood before it.
For those interested in giving to the relief efforts, we’ve highlighted four established and reputable organizations doing good work to help the victims. We encourage you to donate to one of the organizations below or another reputable organization that you are aware of.
Focusing on safety, shelter, and basic needs for the Houston community
Will focus on long-term recovery efforts once the community has been stabilized
Established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
Supported by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a local organization focused specifically on the greater Houston area
Has a perfect score on Charity Navigator online directory
Partnering with local agencies to provide food and supplies for locals now and in the coming months
4. Red Cross (Hurricane Harvey)
As a national organization, Red Cross has the infrastructure and coordination to organize a large-scale response
Endorsed by former President Barack Obama, comedian Kevin Hart, and actress Sandra Bullock