Recovering from Hurricane Harvey
This week, I wanted to take a brief detour from our regular content to discuss the impact of Hurricane Harvey. As I write this, my thoughts and best wishes are with my family and friends in Florida and surrounding areas who are currently in the path of Hurricane Irma.
While I was away, the catastrophic rainfall from Hurricane Harvey set a record in the continental United States, dropping more than 15 trillion gallons of water on the fourth largest city in the nation over a 6-day period. Houston, home to PreCheck’s headquarters, is estimated to have suffered as much as $75 billion in total losses. While our offices were unaffected, many families lost everything they had and the destruction will take years to rebuild.
Yet in the aftermath of the storm, Houston (and Texas) remains more united than ever as we work on rebuilding our future. Here’s how PreCheck and Houston are helping the city and its people recover from Harvey.
Finding Strength in a Unified Community
For as much destruction as the storm has caused, it has been inspiring to see how our community has come together to help our neighbors and colleagues recover from Harvey. Our PreCheck family in Alamogordo, New Mexico, organized a hurricane relief drive and loaded trucks with the donated items to be sent to Texas. My local crossfit gym, Black Wolf Crossfit, organized a relief drive and offered to share some of its space as a storage site for much needed medical equipment from Amerigroup and Longhorn Health. On a greater scale, Houston Texan football player J.J. Watt has raised over $32 million for hurricane relief, including contributions from Drake and Walmart, to name a few.
Every day, I see stories on my social media newsfeeds of friends helping their neighbors and demolishing houses. But Houston has also received an outpouring of aid from across state lines. Volunteers from Louisiana’s Cajun Navy, a grassroots citizens’ organization, took their boats to Houston to rescue people trapped in their homes or apartments.
Houston and our neighbors have demonstrated that we are a resilient and unified community that is coming out strong after the storm on the road to recovery. While it is a long road with much to be done, it is inspiring to see such an outpouring of generosity, kindness, and support for each other.
Supporting and Volunteering at ‘A Heart 4 Houston’
Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to volunteer along with my colleague Dionne Austin, Director of Credentialing Programs at PreCheck, for the relief event A Heart 4 Houston. The event was hosted by Porsha Williams from The Real Housewives of Atlanta and former NFL player and native Houstonian Dominic Austin for Tackles 4 Cancer.
I would like to thank PreCheck for being a sponsor for this event and donating school supplies to help the families from the Houston community. “Hundreds of souls were fed, hearts were touched, and lives were blessed at our day of giving event,” Dominic Austin said.
With the help of the community, the event raised approximately $11,000 in donations and provided financial grants to over 10 families. They are committed to ensuring all funds and items collected go to directly serving flood victims. If you would like to contribute to their ongoing efforts, they are still accepting contributions online.
Helping Our PreCheck Family Recover
I am also grateful for how our organization and staff have come together to take care of our work family. PreCheck created an employee assistance fund to assist our team members that have been impacted by the storm. Together, we’ve raised over $10,000 to help our staff recover from the storm, and PreCheck will also supplement each contribution made to ensure that everyone in need is taken care of. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has contributed to this fund. It is inspiring to see how we come together as a family to take care of each other. If you would like to contribute to our assistance fund, please visit our YouCaring fundraiser page.
Once more, I would like to thank all of my friends, colleagues, neighbors, and all the businesses that have come together to help Houston, our families, and our PreCheck team members recover from Harvey. Today, I am grateful more than ever for the support I see each and every day. The road to recovery may be a long one, but we have a great team to help along the way.