As Hurricane Harvey hits the gulf states, east Texas residents have been told to evacuate low-lying areas that could suffer the most damage.  

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm will bring 35 inches of rain and storm-surge flooding that could reach a depth of 6 to 12 feet along the coast. Harvey is expected to hit land by late Friday night. 

Now, Harvey is considered a category 2 hurricane but it will strengthen to a category 3 by early Saturday morning. All reports from FEMA Director Brock Long has stated that this storm could be the first major hurricane the nation has dealt with since 2005.

Those who can't evacuate must seek shelter. There are a number of organizations that are making it easier for people to stay safe.

Airbnb will waive all service fees for evacuees checking in between Aug. 23 and Sept.1. The company said that it will be "collaborating with regional disaster relief organizations in advance of an event allows us to reach a broader audience and help more people during the actual event," reads a statement on Airbnb's website. "That is why we are pleased to partner with local government agencies and disaster relief organizations to help the Airbnb community and the cities prepare for local emergencies." 

Austin city officials have stated that public schools will be used as shelters for those in need. “We are closely monitoring Hurricane Harvey and making sure we’re prepared,” Mayor Steve Adler wrote on social media. “We’re working with state and regional partners and are ready to assist as needed, including sheltering evacuees and dealing with local weather-related emergencies.”

Also, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) will serve as a shelter for a 100 people. 

Experts instruct residents to create a thorough communications plan with family, make sure the car is in working order, have a disaster supply kit with a flashlight, batteries, cash, first-aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information. It is vital to keep up to date with latest updates on the storm. 

Stay tuned for further updates.