How to Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey + Tips on How to Stay Fit When You Can’t Leave Home

Hurricane Harvey has really torn up my city (Houston) over the last few days and rain continues to pour this morning. It’s so sad. I’ve been very fortunate and did not get water in my home, although my street did flood and many neighbors homes were flooded. It’s heartbreaking to see and hear about all of the families (and pets) that have had their homes destroyed. I want to take a second and say thanks to all of the amazing first responders, volunteers and people coming to Houston to help with boats, supplies and equipment. We are all so thankful!

White Oak Bayou on Sunday

I feel pretty helpless trapped in my home – so the least I can do is share some links for others who want to donate or help out. If you live in Houston – please don’t get out on the streets if your area is flooded – there are ways you can help online or even with your neighbors without putting yourself at risk.

Here are some ways you can help Hurricane Harvey Victims (even if you don’t live in Houston) I’ve also put together some tips below on how to beat boredom if you are trapped at home and ways you and your family can get in some physical activity even if you can’t go outside.

Ways to Help Houston (and other areas effected):

-Volunteer at the George R Brown Convention Center (GRB) downtown.

-Go through your house and see what you have that you can donate. Here is a list of items that they need right now. I know they also need items for babies (diapers, clothes, wipes, etc) and also pregnant women (maternity clothes) and nursing women (breastfeeding supplies, pumps, etc). Put them in trash bags and see if you can take them to the GRB downtown if you can get there safely. If not, check online (your Facebook neighborhood or community page is a good place to look) and see if local businesses or even residents with big trucks are collecting donations and can take them for you. Or, better yet – organize a neighborhood drive and offer to help collect items. If you live in other areas – see what shelters are near you.

-Help animals. Make a donation to the Humane Society or the Houston SPCA – or donate some items that they need for rescued pets. Here are other tips.

-Go for a walk and see if you can help your neighbors. Even if your neighborhood isn’t flooded – residents (especially elderly) may need help or could be running out of supplies.

-Donate money to the Red Cross, Texas Diaper Bank or United Way. Text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross.

-Have extra space in your home or know of a vacant home in Houston? Rent it out for victims. You can do it with Airbnb.

-Houston Texans player JJ Watt has generously started a fundraiser and is already up to over $1.5 million in donations.


I have been going a little stir crazy being at home with my 2 little kids and I also know they need to get some exercise in order to burn off energy and also sleep well at night. Here are some ideas on how you can beat boredom and get active at home with your family when you can’t go outside:

-If you have a safe covered porch or garage area – sometimes it’s good to mix up the atmosphere and you can let the kids play there. I have a “sand and water” table filled with rocks that my kids love.

-If the rain has stopped or is very light (with no thunder and lightning) take the family out for a walk. Just be sure not to venture into any high water! This can also help to talk to neighbors and see if anyone needs help or if there are any places nearby you can drop off donations.

-Try some of these indoor games and activities or these exercises.

-Do a family yoga class. If you have power- look for workout videos on youtube or online that you can do.

-Play “old school” games like hide and seek, freeze, etc. or build a fort.


At-Home Workouts:

For those of you who are looking for some workouts to do (ahem…bootcamp clients this is for you!) here are a few sample workouts you can do at home:

I also have more workouts here and here.

Grocery Tips:

There are not many grocery stores open right now and if you are like me – you will be running out of food in less than a week. Once stores are open – try to get things that you can freeze (if you have power) so that you can take them out as needed. Try to avoid stockpiling junk food (which most non-perishable items are) and get lean meat you can freeze, frozen veggies and whole wheat bread. Canned veggies and fruit are another good choice when you can’t get fresh or frozen stuff. If you have kids – try to get pouches that have some veggies mixed in, applesauce and even boxed milks that don’t need to be refrigerated (some like Horizon brand may be found in the refrigerated section already but don’t have to be stored cold). Other things that will last awhile and a slightly better for you include: beef or turkey jerky, peanut butter or pre-made pb crackers (my kids love these), cereal and Kind bars (or fruit/nut bars).

Thank you to everyone who has been able to help. For those of you in Houston – please stay safe!

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