After Hurricane Harvey, our Houston office is adjusting to the “new normal.” Today, we drove to work on dry streets in our own cars, and for that, we are grateful. Last night we slept in our own beds, ate hot food prepared in our kitchen and took a shower with clean clothes to put on afterwards. We are the lucky ones.
Unfortunately, three members of our Houston-IBI family have lost everything to this storm. Each situation is different and in different areas of town. Hurricane Harvey did not discriminate.
One family living in a suburban community with four children ranging from five months to nine years, is currently in a 30-day rental, uncertain where they will be long-term. A volunteer fireman, this employee spent most of the storm rescuing others, even as his family was being evacuated. Almost 24” of water on the first floor of their home has rendered their home completely unlivable and school starts in one week. Floors are ripped out, walls down to the studs, and a smell that alternates between mildew and chemicals as they try to remediate the damage. If you can imagine all of this without flood insurance then you can begin to see this family’s devastation.
Another employee lives in a rural community with his wife and five children (ages 9-18). Their single-story home, completely designed and built by the employee, took on almost 30” of water - little was salvageable. Living on acreage requires specific vehicles to maintain; a total of four vehicles were lost, ones used for daily transportation and those necessary to take care of their property. Buckled hardwood floors, soggy sheetrock and wet furniture are stacked in their yard. Currently living with friends from their church, they continue to tear their home apart so that they can re-build.
Our other employee’s home is on a bayou which, even with the worst storms, has never flooded. Much of their home took on water and several rooms had to be completely gutted. The exhaustive work of cleaning up, ripping out carpet and walls, washing and sanitizing everything continues. Add to this the complete loss of the homes and belongings of both her sister and parents. This is the situation our employee finds herself in.
So, we are asking for your help. Your individual contribution is vitally important and will have an immediate impact on the lives and wellbeing of our Houston family. This need will go on for weeks and months - the general consensus is nine months to a year to recover. It is tragic and heartwarming at the same time to see what we are truly, truly capable of.
– Shelly Antley, Marketing Manager, Houston
Please donate here and IBI Group will match your donation.