NIPOMO, Calif. - As flood waters from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey continue to rise in the Houston area, Aaron Meloncon has kept a careful eye on news coverage.
The Santa Maria resident grew up in Houston and still has several family members in the area, including his father, two brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins.
"When you're away, it's just kind of hard," said Meloncon. "You're wondering what's going on back there and what parts of town are affected and how your people are affected."
Since Harvey came ashore, it's been stressful for Meloncon to keep of his family.
Cell service and the nature of the emergency made communication nearly impossible at times.
"Initially when I first tried to get a hold of them, I didn't have a lot of luck," said Meloncon.
Finally on Monday morning, the Nipomo High School counselor was able to take a few minutes out of his day and speak with his father and brother for the first time since the storm hit.
After coming up empty with his first two calls, he was able to track them down in Dallas, where they evacuated to just ahead of the storm.
"To hear their voice and know they're not in the middle of the storm, it's comforting," Meloncon said.
While his father and brother are both safe, neither has any idea what kind of physical condition their homes are in.
"They appear to be in terms in being safe and in good spirits, but they don't know with what is going on and what their houses look like or how bad it is," said Meloncon.
As for other family members, he's been relying of Facebook posts to stay up-to-date.
However, those have been coming in increasingly less as Meloncon says people are no longer worried about social media.
Instead, he stresses, people there are having to simply go into "survival mode," with social media low on a priority list.
"It's a little frustrating not having first-hand knowledge of what's going on with them and a little distracting to be thinking about it," said Meloncon. "When you look and see places that you recognize and you think of people that you are connected to that are down there dealing with this stuff, it's really hard."
As a show of support, Meloncon is displaying the Texas flag and City of Houston flag on the side of his Santa Maria residence.
"I told my dad I put up my flags because I want people to know they should all be thinking about you," Meloncon said."Hopefully when people are reminded about what's happening on down there, they'll be kind and help out with whatever they can."
During his viewing of television coverage, Meloncon has noticed people helping each other out and pulling together in this time of crisis.
He said he's proud of his fellow Texans, but not surprised by the outpouring of support.
"There's pride in being a Texan," said Meloncon. "When bad things happen, we come together and we help each other out and I think the spirit of Texas, no matter how bad this gets, I think it will eventually be something that we bounce from and we'll be okay."