By James Nowell, Product Fulfillment Manager
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, an estimated 30,000 people were forced into temporary shelters while they waited for the waters to recede and relief agencies to begin assessing and addressing the damage. Matt Heintz and I were able to participate in those efforts first-hand.
Partnering with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian humanitarian organization, in the outlying suburbs of Dickenson, Texas City and Santa Fe, we recently spent a week helping “mud out” houses that had been damaged. While most of the damage was due to flooding, there was also general storm damage from heavy winds and leaking roofs due to the torrential downpours which have been estimated in excess of 27 trillion gallons (yes, trillion). Of primary concern was the very-real risk of mold infestation. To address that, work crews set out to remove drywall, cabinets, tile and linoleum flooring, cabinets, and (in some cases) ceilings. Once the affected framing was exposed, those areas were treated with a non-toxic chemical that inhibits future growth and allows for reconstruction to begin. The work was exhausting, taking place in the hot, humid weather that is south Texas, but it provided a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the week.
Others from Tekna participated in the effort as well. Thanks to the generosity of fellow colleagues at all levels of the organization, a matching donation from Tekna’s owners, and a gift from WMH Fluidpower, we travelled to Houston with $9,740 in cash donations! These funds were used to purchase supplies, materials, and goods such as: beds, groceries, appliances, and even toys for a family with very young children. Other funds were used to purchase gift cards to distribute as more needs are identified.
It was encouraging to meet so many people, both local and from other areas of the country, coming together to help. One local woman was housing 10 people in her house while they waited for theirs to become livable. Countless others were involved in the tedious tasks of removing trash and trying to get back to a sense of normalcy. While there is a long road ahead, it was certainly a breath of fresh air to see so many people with varying backgrounds come together and working for the common good.