None of my friends or even friends of friends in Houston have suffered significant home damage from the flooding, but the situation there is obviously about as bad as the worst-case predictions (see this ArsTechnica article).
Back in 2011 I wrote Japan Relief: Idea #1 (buy a knife):
The Japanese are an organized, skilled, reasonably rich, and generous people, so I don’t think that they need more in the way of donations to recover from the tsunami. What can we do for the Japanese then? Buy their exports. Over the next year or so, I’m going to suggest some things that we might ordinarily buy from other sources that we can instead buy from Japanese companies.
I’m wondering if the same reasoning can apply to Houston.
The Wikipedia list of companies headquartered in Houston suggests that most of us are probably already consuming products from Houston and that it wouldn’t be possible to consume more without wasting fossil fuels. Still, perhaps we could preferentially buy gasoline from Phillips 66, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Citgo (owned by Venezuela and a donor to President Trump’s inauguration!). We could throw ourselves into the waters off the U.K. and let search-and-rescue contractor Bristow pick us up. When booking flights (maybe not for next week) we could choose to connect through Houston. We can buy our next car from a Group 1 Automotive dealer. We can eat at a Luby’s, Fuddruckers, or Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant or, if touched by the gourmet spirit, at a Pappas restaurant. Top executive somewhere? Outsource a bunch of stuff to Aon Hewitt. Or get some enterprise software from BMC.
Readers: Other ideas? What can we do to help Houston recover?
A sad situation, but being sad and “sending positive vibes” via Facebook doesn’t seem as likely to help as being a customer.