RSVP of the Texas Gulf Coast engages people 55 and over in addressing critical community needs throug
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Southeast Texas - Engaging volunteers 55 and over in addressing critical community needs among 18 counties in Southeast Texas
RSVP is proud to be a Bellville Chamber Member!
Learning how to build up our Chamber page during this month’s Lunch and Learn class.
Bellville Chamber of Commerce
We are very excited to see this! Narcan can save so many lives from overdoses of opioids and illegal drugs. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as to when it becomes available in stores!
Good class going on today by AARP!
Volunteering can improve your health and extend your life! Here’s how… contact us today if you’re 55 or older and want to enroll through our program. (Through us, you get an additional free insurance while on the job and to and from!)
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**Please share this posting with those you think may be interested in these classes as they are very informative! Thanks in advance for your support!**
To register for these classes, the two only stipulations are 1. You have to live in Texas and 2. You have to be 50 years old or older. Please share this post with your friends. Very informative classes with lots of helpful tips! Classes begin Tuesday July 18th and run every Tuesday for 5 wks. The time for the classes is 10am-11am Free and online!
We would like to wish you all a safe and happy Fourth of July while we honor those who have kept us safe all along. And a special thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who do so much for so many, you all are very appreciated!
Some of our wonderful volunteers! If you or someone you know would like to volunteer through Americorps Seniors, please message us.
Medicare Minute Script — October 2022
Changing Part D Plans
Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit, is the part of Medicare that covers most outpatient prescription drugs. Part D is offered through private companies either as a stand-alone prescription drug plan for those enrolled in Original Medicare, or as a set of benefits included with your Medicare Advantage Plan. Sometimes a Part D plan’s premium increases or the plan does not cover your new medication. Today we’ll discuss how you can choose and enroll in a new Part D plan.
Point 1: Choose a Part D plan that meets your health care needs.
Before you start looking at plans, make sure you know the prescriptions you take, the dosages of each, and the pharmacies you usually use. To compare different plans available to you, you can use Medicare’s Plan Finder tool at www.medicare.gov/plan-compare. For assistance comparing plans, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE or your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program, also called SHIP. When choosing a Part D plan, make sure to ask the following questions:
1. Does this plan cover my drugs? You should also find out if there are any restrictions on your covered drugs, such as prior authorization, step therapy, or quantity limits.
2. What are the costs associated with this plan? Plan Finder provides an estimated out-of-pocket cost for the year for each plan, based on your medications and dosages.
3. Are my pharmacies preferred and in-network? You will pay less at preferred in-network pharmacies.
4. What is the plan’s star rating? Medicare uses a star rating system to measure how well plans perform in different categories, like quality of care and customer service. Plan Finder includes plans’ star ratings.
While comparing plans, it may be helpful to know that starting in 2023 all Part D plans will cover vaccines with zero cost-sharing and will cap monthly insulin cost-sharing at $35, due to the Inflation Reduction Act.
Point 2: Understand when you can change your Part D plan.
You can make changes to your coverage during Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, which spans October 15 through December 7 each year. Part D plans may change their cost and formularies from year to year, so it is important to review your plan notices to learn if prices will change and if your drugs will still be covered next year.
If you receive your drug coverage as part of your Medicare Advantage Plan, you can also make changes during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which spans January 1 through March 31 each year. This period can be helpful for anyone who is not satisfied with the change they made during the fall.
You can also make a change to your Part D plan if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, or SEP. For example, those enrolled in Extra Help, the federal program that assists with drug costs, have SEPs each year to change their drug coverage. You also have an SEP if you move outside your plan’s coverage area. You should call Medicare or your SHIP to see if you qualify for an SEP.
Point 3: Know how to disenroll from your Part D plan and enroll in a new plan.
You can call 1-800-MEDICARE to enroll in your new plan without disenrolling from your old plan. You should be automatically disenrolled from your previous plan when your new plan’s coverage begins. You can also call a plan directly to enroll through a plan representative, but note that it is helpful for Medicare to have the official enrollment record in case there are any problems.
Point 4: Check your Medicare statements for potential fraud, errors, or abuse.
Your Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D prescription drug plan typically sends you a statement after you receive medical services or items. This is called your Explanation of Benefits, or EOB. You only receive an EOB if you have Medicare Advantage or Part D. It is important to remember that an EOB is not a bill. It is an explanation of services and items you have received and how much you may owe for them. It tells you how much your provider billed, the approved amount your plan will pay, and how much you may owe your provider. Compare your statements to your record of medical visits, tests, receipts for services, and equipment received. You can use the My Health Care Tracker from the Senior Medicare Patrol, called “SMP.”
It is important to read your EOB as soon as you receive it to ensure you actually received all the medications or services listed. If you think there has been a billing error, first call your health care provider or plan to try to get it corrected. If the potential errors are not corrected, if you have additional questions, or if you need a My Health Care Tracker, contact your SMP. The SMP program empowers and assists Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse.
This document was supported, in part, by grant numbers 90SATC0002 and 90MPRC0002 from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.
SHIP National Technical Assistance Center: 877-839-2675 | www.shiptacenter.org | [email protected]
SMP National Resource Center: 877-808-2468 | www.smpresource.org | [email protected]
© 2022 Medicare Rights Center | www.medicareinteractive.org | The Medicare Rights Center is the author of portions of the content in these materials but is not responsible for any content not authored by the Medicare Rights Center.
Medicare Interactive (MI) is a free and independent online reference tool to help people with Medicare navigate the complex world of health insurance.
May is Older Americans Month
Top Scams Targeting Older Americans
Here's how to recognize and protect yourself from these costly cons, by Sari Harrar
1. Zoom phishing emails
Con artists registered more than 2,449 fake Zoom-related internet domains in the early months of the pandemic, just so they could send out emails that look like they're from the popular videoconferencing website, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The scheme: “You receive an email, text or social media message with the Zoom logo, telling you to click on a link because your account is suspended or you missed a meeting,” says Katherine Hutt, national spokesperson for the BBB. “Clicking can allow criminals to download malicious software onto your computer, access your personal information to use for identity theft, or search for passwords to hack into your other accounts.”
How to avoid: Never click on links in unsolicited emails, texts or social media messages, Hutt says. If you think there is a problem with your account, visit Zoom's real website at Zoom.us and follow the steps for customer support.
2. COVID-19 vaccination card scams
Many who got a COVID vaccine posted selfies on social media showing off their vaccination card. Scammers immediately pounced.
The scheme: “With your full name, birth date and information about where you received your shot, scammers have valuable data for identity theft, breaking into your bank accounts, getting credit cards in your name and more,” Hutt says.
How to avoid: If you want to inform friends and family that you got your shots, a selfie with a generic vaccine sticker will suffice. “Or use a Got My Vaccine profile picture frame on social media,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody suggests. And review your social media security settings to choose who can see your posts.
3. Phony online shopping websites
Phony retail websites aren't new, but they look more real today than ever before. “Fake sites are using photos from real online retailers and mimicking their look and feel,” Hutt says.
The scheme: You click on an ad online or on social media, see stuff you like at a great price, enter your credit card info … and never receive a product. “Or you receive a lower-quality item shipped directly from an overseas seller,” Hutt says.
How to avoid: Never click on an ad to go to a retailer's website. Instead, bookmark the URLs of trusted shopping websites you visit frequently and use those, suggests Tyler Moore, professor of cybersecurity at the University of Tulsa. “Don't bother with trying to figure out whether the web address is real. Attackers adapt and change them frequently.”
If you're considering buying from a new site, first check online reviews as well as the company's track record via the Better Business Bureau's online directory (bbb.org).
4. Celebrity impostor scams
Real celebs like Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber grabbed headlines during the pandemic with social media money giveaways. Fans posted their cash-transfer app identifier (or $Cashtag, in Cash App) for a chance at free money. Right away, scammers posing as celebrities started offering fake giveaways as a way to get people's private information.
The scheme: You get a note via social media, email or text message, claiming you won! You just need to verify your account info and send a small deposit up front.
How to avoid: If you really win, you won't be asked to send money first, says Satnam Narang of Tenable, a cybersecurity firm. “The easiest way to defeat this scam is to block incoming requests on your cash-transfer app. Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
5. Online romance scams
They're not just lurking on dating sites. “Romance scammers are getting close to unsuspecting women and men in online prayer groups and book groups, through online games like Words With Friends and other groups people are turning to during pandemic isolation,” Nofziger says.
The scheme: Scammers typically lure their romance marks off of sites that may be monitored and onto Google Hangouts, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, where no one's watching. Eventually they hit you up for money.
How to avoid: Rule number one: Never send money to someone you've never met in person. And say no to requests for suggestive selfies and videos that a scammer can later use to blackmail you. “It's flattering to be told you are attractive,” Nofziger says, “but it will be used against you.”
6. Medicare card scams
Scammers are emailing, calling and even knocking on doors, claiming to be from Medicare and offering all sorts of pandemic-related services if you “verify” your Medicare ID number.
The scheme: The offers include new cards they claim contain microchips. Some posers are asking for payment to move beneficiaries up in line for the COVID-19 vaccine.
How to avoid: Hang up the phone, shut the door, delete the email. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Medicare will never contact you without permission for your Medicare number or other personal information. And it will never call to sell you anything. Guard your Medicare number and never pay for a COVID vaccine. It's free.
7. Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment scams
The rise of smartphone tools like CashApp, Venmo, Zelle and PayPal, which let you transfer money directly to another person, has led to a range of frauds.
The scheme: “One of the more pervasive is the so-called ‘accidental transfer of funds’ scam,” Narang says. “A scammer sends hundreds of dollars, then sends a follow-up message requesting the money back, claiming it was ‘an accident.’ “ But the original transfer was made with a stolen debit card; those funds will eventually be removed from your account. And you're out the money.
How to avoid: Scrutinize money requests before hitting “accept.” To be extra diligent, “disable [or block] incoming requests altogether on your app and only use it for sending money,” Narang suggests. Enable it when someone you trust is about to send you cash. And ignore a notice to return an accidental deposit. Report the incident to the app's support team to resolve the dispute.
8. Social Security scam calls
Scammers are using “spoofed” phone numbers that look like they're coming from Washington, D.C., to appear credible.
The scheme: You get a scary phone call saying your Social Security number was used in a crime — and you'll be arrested soon if you don't send money to fix it. “They may say your number was used to rent a car where drugs were found and that the Drug Enforcement Agency is on their way to your house,” Nofziger says. “The caller may refer you to a local law-enforcement website where you can see the person's picture. You think you've checked it out, call them back and send money.”
How to avoid: “Don't pick up the phone unless you absolutely know who's calling,” Nofziger says. “If it's important, they'll leave a voicemail.”
9. Account takeover scam texts
Scammers are sending fake text messages alleging there's big trouble with your internet account, a credit card, bank account or shopping order on Amazon. They want you to click on links and provide personal info.
The scheme The urgent-sounding text message may have a real-looking logo. “People don't expect scammers to use text messages, so they're more likely to click,” Moore says.
How to avoid: Remember, don't click on links in emails and texts that you haven't asked for. Call your bank or credit card company to check for a problem. Installing security software on your computer and keeping it updated is also crucial, says cybersecurity expert Brian Payne, of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
AARP’s Fraud Watch Network
This is a good resource to prevent Medicare Fraud:
Highlights of Senior Medicare Fraud:
OIG cautions the public against sending money or sharing personal, medical, or financial information with unknown individuals who claim to be government officials.
December Scam of the Month: Facebook Scams. Please share with your seniors and Facebook buddies.
The Houston BBB Education Foundation Dec 2021 Scam of the Month - Facebook Scams
Here's your November Medicare Scam of the Month. Please share...
Medicare Open Enrollment Scams, please be aware...
The Houston BBB Education Foundation's Scam of the Month is - Medicare Open Enrollment Scams.
Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)
Medicare Open Enrollment FRAUD and New FRAUD Trends
Hello fall and hello Medicare Open Enrollment! The Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period starts October 15 and runs through December 7.
During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, there is a higher risk than usual for fraudulent activity.
Medicare Part D Enrollment Scams to look out for:
• Medicare or a health plan calls and wants to send you a new health card for $299.
• You receive a call about a refund from last year’s premiums or your drug plan cost.
• An agent tries to sign you up for plan that you don’t need, isn’t right for you, or doesn’t even exist.
• Watch out for fake RX cards offering big discounts with little or no benefits.
• You receive a call offering big discounts on a new health insurance plan.
Medicare has rules about how plans can and cannot communicate with you to market their insurance products:
• Plans are allowed to send you mail and emails but are not allowed to call or visit you in person without your permission.
• Beware of people who pressure you to join their plan, tell you they represent Medicare and want to offer free services, or inform you that you will lose your Medicare benefits unless you sign up for a certain plan.
• Before you enroll in a plan, make sure you understand what the plan covers and whether it covers the drugs you need.
• Contact a plan directly to learn about the services it covers and get everything in writing.
Tips on how to Stop Fraud During Open Enrollment
• Medicare will never call or visit. Medicare will only send information via postal mail service.
• Guard your Medicare card and number like a credit card.
• Don’t give out your Medicare number except to your doctor or other providers.
• Don’t let someone push you into making a fast decision.
• If you receive a call, especially from a number you do not recognize or anyone requesting personal information hang up immediately.
• Know your health care options. Get help from your family, the Medicare website or your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
• No health care plan is allowed to cold call.
The TXSMP is seeing a new fraud trend called Cardiovascular Genetic Testing. When genetic testing first became an important medical service, scammers targeted cancer screenings and medication metabolization (pharmacogenetics).
The latest growing genetic testing fraud trend focuses on cardiovascular genetic testing. Scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries genetic testing cheek swabs to obtain their Medicare information for fraudulent billing purposes or possibly medical identity theft.
Scammers call Medicare beneficiaries, claiming their cardiologist wants them to have special test/s and offering to send a kit. However, their cardiologist did not make any such request. The scammer’s goal is not to help the beneficiary; it’s to get the beneficiaries’ Medicare information. Once the information is collected, the scammers can use it to bill Medicare for medically unnecessary genetic testing.
If Medicare denies a cardiovascular genetic test claim, a beneficiary might be responsible for the entire cost of the test: The average cost is $9,000 to $11,000
If you received a cardiovascular genetic testing kit or test that was not medically necessary, report your concerns about billing errors or possible fraud and abuse to the TXSMP.
If you have any questions or want to report a scam please doesn’t hesitate to call us at the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol at 713-341-6184 or 888-341-6187. If you would like a presentation to your organization or community via Zoom or WebEx, please contact the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol. The Senior Medicare Patrol of Texas (SMP) is part of the national Senior Medicare Patrol Program funded by the Administration for Community Living. The Houston Better Business Bureau Education Foundation is the holder of the grant for the State of Texas.
The BBB Education Foundation Scam of the Month for September 2021 is "How to Stop Those Darn Robocalls"
Another very interesting and informative presentation about the latest Cardiovascular Genetic Testing SCAM......
JUST IN | Affected by the economic and social impacts of COVID-19? Please take the COVID-19 Community Impact Survey at GulfCoastCovidSurvey.org. The information you provide will be used to help local non-profits understand the economic needs of households affected by Coronavirus | COVID-19.
TAKE THE SURVEY: GulfCoastCovidSurvey.org
Note: This survey is not for medical help. If you or someone you know is sick, please call your doctor or primary health care provider and your local public health department.
COOLING CENTERS REMAIN OPEN AS HEAT EMERGENCY PLAN SUSPENDED
Cooling centers will remain available during normal business hours. Our partner, Reliant, has proudly sponsored our 11 multi-service centers as Beat the Heat Centers, which are open weekdays from June through September. Here is a list of the locations:
Acres Homes Multi-Service Center 6719 W. Montgomery Houston, TX 77091 832-393-4145
Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center 6402 Market Street Houston, TX 77020 832-395-0895
Magnolia Multi-Service Center 7037 Capitol Street Houston, TX 77011 832-395-3380
Northeast Multi-Service Center 9720 Spaulding Houston, TX 77016 832-395-0470
Sunnyside Multi-Service Center 9314 Cullen Blvd. Houston, TX 77051 832-395-0069
Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center 4014 Market Street Houston, TX 77020 832-393-3800
Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center 3810 West Fuqua Houston, TX 77045 832-393-4200
Kashmere Multi-Service Center 4802 Lockwood Houston, TX 77026 832-393-5503
Southwest Multi-Service Center 6400 High Star Houston, TX 77074 832-395-9900
Third Ward Multi-Service Center 3611 Ennis Street Houston, TX 77004 832-393-4051
West End Multi-Service Center 170 Heights Blvd. Houston, TX 77007 832-393-5950
The Houston Health Department urges people protect themselves and loved ones from potentially deadly heat-related illness. LOOK FOR THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION: • FAINTNESS • DIZZINESS • EXCESSIVE SWEATING • COOL OR CLAMMY SKIN • NAUSEA OR VOMITING • MUSCLE CRAMPS • RAPID, WEAK PULSE WHAT TO DO IF SYMPTOMS SUGGEST HEAT EXHAUSTION: • LOWER THE BODY TEMPERATURE BY GETTING IN COOLER PLACE • DRINKING WATER • TAKING A COOL SHOWER OR BATH • RESTING LOOK FOR THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS OF HEAT STROKE: • CONFUSION • THROBBING HEADACHE • LACK OF SWEAT • RED, HOT, AND DRY SKIN • NAUSEA OR VOMITING • LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS • RAPID, STRONG PULSE WHAT TO DO IF SYMPTOMS SUGGEST HEAT STROKE: • CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY • TRY TO LOWER BODY TEMPERATURE UNTIL HELP ARRIVES PREVENTATIVE STEPS: •
Increase water consumption. Drink lots of liquids even before getting thirsty, but avoid those with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because these can result in the loss of body fluid. • Conduct outdoor work or exercise in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Outdoor workers should drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement beverages and take frequent breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned facility. Those unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot • Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of perspiration. • Do not leave children, senior citizens or pets unattended in a vehicle. • A wide-brimmed hat helps prevent sunburn as well as heat-related illness. Sunscreen also protects from the sun’s harmful rays and reduces the risk of sunburn. • If the house is not air-conditioned, seek accommodations in air-conditioned facilities during the heat of the day: multi-service centers, malls, movie theaters, libraries, etc. • Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home is not air-conditioned.
Disaster Minutes: Quick Talking Tips about Disaster Preparedness Tip # 1
Take Moment To Imagine If There Is An Emergency
Take a moment to imagine that there is an emergency, like a fire in your home, and you need to leave quickly. What are the best escape routes from your home? Find at least two ways out of each room. Now, write it down! — you’ve got the beginning of a plan.
Disasters Are Not Just Hurricanes.
Our RSVP Family would love to challenge you to follow us in the next few weeks and learn about "Quick Talking Tips About Disaster Preparedness" We challenge you to "Read, Act and Tell Others" Look for Tip #1 Tomorrow!!!
2019 Harris County Volunteer Recognition
The 2019 RSVP Volunteer Recognition Luncheon had a wonderful turn out on March 4, 2019 even though the weather and traffic did not cooperate! The day might have been freezing outside, but the warmth of good fellowship was felt inside joined by the beautiful singing of Patricia Powell who made her debut with the RSVP Volunteers. Her songs brought back memories of many care free hours of our younger days!
José Grińan, Fox Morning News Anchor was once again our Master of Ceremonies and did a splendid job of keeping everything running smoothly. Our “Keynote Speaker” Tammy Mermelstein gave us special hints on how we should ALWAYS be in control of our conversations with our doctors. She stressed that “we all put our pants on the same way” also, we should ask our doctors questions and get second opinions when necessary.
The Harris County Project Coordinator, MaryAnn Kelley presented the service awards to these following volunteers: Gayle Brown and Maria Frakes received their 15 Year Service Pin; Ruth Arnold received her 10 Year Service Pin; Gerri Bailey, Luisa Calvo, Nelda Clark, Leslie Dickens, Linda Plummer, H.B. Runnels Sr., Alice Smith-Moffett and Rosa Valley all received their 5 Year Service Pins.
Walt McFadden, Director of RSVP of Southeast Texas, was pleased to recognize Susan Edmonson as the 2019 Harris County RSVP Volunteer of the Year! Susan was highly recommended by Delores Brown, the Station Representative for the Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) Satellite Windwood Presbyterian Church Meals on Wheels Program, located on Spring Cypress Rd. Since 2012, Susan has been a joy and blessing to the NAM staff and volunteers. She will drive and deliver meals every day of the week if her schedule allows, and many times, she has done so. Susan is known for being willing to take more than one route at a time, and even do special projects if needed. This has been true even while undergoing treatment for cancer. During this time she had to break from volunteering in order to undergo chemotherapy treatments, Susan would periodically check in with Delores to make sure that she hadn’t given her route away. Susan has been a wonderful asset to NAM and its Meals on Wheels program, and RSVP of Southeast Texas ask that you each join us in Congratulating Susan for a job well done!
If you have any comments to make about our Luncheon, please contact MaryAnn Kelley at 713-595-8195
The numbers were strong (1000+) for the Empowered You: Houston Senior Citizens Conference which was held on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at the Kingdom Builder's Center, 6011 W. Orem, Houston, TX 77085.
The event is part of the Council Member Edwards' Community Empowerment Signature Series. The mission of this conference is to educate and equip seniors of our city, and those who care for them, with information and resources that will help them successfully navigate this season of their life.The Harris County RSVP Volunteer Coordinator, MaryAnn Kelley was on a panel explaining Senior Corps to an audience of 55+ attendees.
The goal of the conference was for each person in attendence to walk away equipped with life-changing information that will help them live long and strong, so that they may continue "being the solution" in their respective communities.
Today we gave out Disaster RSVP Vests and Badges to one of our great stations. Progressive Baptist Church Food Pantry in Hearne,Texas We talked about how to talk to people coming into the food panty about National Flood Insurance, Medicare and disaster scams and 35 Disaster tips to help others be prepared. Thanks Maria, Mrs.Crawford, Helena, Willie for showing off your Vest!!
A recent presentation given by Moira Bulter on "How to Protect, Detect, Report Medicare Fraud" at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Catholic Church, Katy, Texas
RSVP PARTNER HONORED!!
Senior Rides and More Volunteer honored by Houston Chronicle
Senior Rides and More volunteer, Laurel Murray, was honored in a full-page article in the Houston Chronicle’s “Heroes of Harvey” series Thursday, July 26th. Laurel rescued a blind Senior Rides care receiver stranded by flooding at the George Brown Convention Center and brought her into her home for several months.
Your funding and support makes these selfless acts of compassion by Senior Rides’ volunteers possible. Thank you.
Volunteer, worried about a friend with disabilities, takes her in
By Amber Elliott
Retired nurse Laurel Murray stands near Godwin Park where feet of water inundated Meyerland homes during Harvey. Murray helped her friend Linda, who lived across from the park and who is blind, after her ... more
The Saturday before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, Senior Rides and More volunteer Laurel Murray gave one of her regulars, fellow Meyerland resident Linda Moores, a ride to JCPenney.
“There was a gap in the rain, so I picked Linda up and we went shopping,” said Murray, a retired nurse. She would often drive Moores — who is blind and diabetic and has had kidney and pancreas transplants — to get groceries or to her doctor’s appointments.
Murray, 71, slept through Sunday morning’s storms, but Moores, 63, awoke to ankle-deep water rising beneath her. She grabbed her medications, a change of clothes, her white cane and left home for the last time.
When Murray woke up, she couldn’t leave her block — but she was worried about Moores. “A neighbor with a pickup truck came over and said he could get to Kroger if he jumped on sidewalks.” A long line of flooded residents had gathered at the Kroger on South Post Oak waiting to get on the National Guard rescue vehicles. Murray walked along, asking if anyone had seen Linda. A woman had — Moores was headed to a shelter, she said.
Moores, too, had landed in a neighbor’s pickup truck; but after water flooded the engine, they had to abandon it. A couple loaded her into a raft with their two children, and they swam toward the grocery store, pulling the raft.
“We got on a dump truck and went to the George R. Brown Convention Center,” Moores said of the six-hour trek into downtown. “They ran out of food and water, and I got separated from my neighbors.” Her medications and cane were misplaced at the shelter, too.
Murray was desperately searching for her friend. She contacted Moores’ sister in Canada, who called her 24-year-old son in Houston. He went to the convention center and picked Moores up. By Tuesday, she was back in Meyerland at Murray’s home — and that’s where she stayed until December.
Murray salvaged what she could from Moore’s flooded home. She helped her with insurance and FEMA paperwork.
Ultimately, Moores decided to move to an assisted living facility in North Carolina. “I tried to rebuild and gave up,” Moores said of the house her parents built in 1952. “I lived there alone for four-and-a-half years.”
Murray misses her friend. “Linda had no family here and nowhere to go,” Murray said. “But before Harvey, she lived in the house she grew up in with minimal help and got along just fine. She’s a college grad and an intelligent woman with a wicked sense of humor.”
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We would like to thank the following local businesses for donating door prizes for the party: Chili's Grill & Bar, Chuy's, Dick's Sporting Goods (Humble), Humble City Cafe, Olive Garden, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Southeast Texas, Starbucks (Humble), Texas Roadhouse, and Warren's Southern Gardens.