We are happy to report that everyone in our AHEC family is safe and surprisingly no one’s house flooded. While we are physically ok and no one lost property or material possessions we are still left with the mental conflict of worrying day and night about family and friends still in affected areas. Some have survivor’s guilt and some are creating plans of action to collect donations to distribute to people still in need, and sadly there are many. While none of us have the notoriety of JJ Watt and ability raise $25+ million we do have a deep desire to help out our fellow Houstonians. As our business is getting back on track we hope that Hurricane Harvey didn’t cause too much of an inconvenience or service interruption for our customers. Two days post Harvey, we had skeleton crews opening the office with intermittent phone and electricity but we smiled our way through the disaster and tried our best not to contribute to the darn cuss jar!
As we are now 12 days post Hurricane Harvey our AHEC family tries to resume a semblance of normalcy. None of us can actually tell you what day of the week it is but hey we are safe, we are dry and we are able to get back to work. Thinking back to just one week ago Hurricane Harvey was officially gone from Houston and still almost the entire city was under water. If you don’t live in Houston and you are watching events unfold on television, let me tell you, everything you saw was real or maybe worse. The Texas Department of Public Safety counted nearly 35,000 people in about 240 shelters and this was only as of August 31st! FEMA estimated almost 60,000 structures were damaged with more than 25 percent with extensive damage or were destroyed and this is really just a preliminary report. Houston has sustained damage that will likely take months or in some cases years to repair.
While Houston’s story is a very sad one there’s always a positive side if you have the right attitude. We are thankful for so many people from near and far who jumped in to action to help their fellow neighbor, friend or even a complete stranger in the most difficult of times. It’s amazing to see lines 50+ people waiting to volunteer at shelters and donation centers. And we are most grateful to the people around the country and the world who have donated money and essential items! If you are wondering how you can help we ask that you keep in mind that while Houston is struggling, the city is in fact open for business! As our mayor stated, “If you were planning on attending a conference, a concert or a sporting event, you can still come. We can do multiple things at the same time.” If you didn’t know before, please know now, we are open for business and ready to serve you!
Keep us in your thoughts and prays, those are most welcome and needed!