Hurricane Harvey decimated parts Texas. People lost their homes and belongings, businesses might not recover, some people even lost their lives. One of our 2017 America’s Safest Companies, H+M Industrial EPC, is located in Pasadena, Texas, an area impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Many employees suffered property damage from the hurricane and everyone’s lives have been disrupted.
“Given the amount of flooding and damage endured, it is clear that our company-wide support is desperately needed throughout our community. Our hearts are heavy as Hurricane Harvey’s impact throughout the Gulf Coast region of the United States is fully coming to light. Although many of the things lost hold sentimental value cannot be replaced, H+M has come together as a family to support the recovery effort in various ways,” said Sydnee Gauthier, an HSE specialist with the company.
In a corporate newsletter distributed to employees, H+M Operations Manager Brandon Hogan wrote: “Hurricane Harvey was an unexpected interruption to our business this past week, but reminds us to expect the unexpected. As you have seen in person, and on TV, the storm and its aftermath required co-workers, neighbors, friends and strangers to all come together to survive the storm and to progress beyond the storm. Many people, including several at H+M, will be dealing with the effects of the storm for months to come. Most will be working at H+M during the day, and working on personal home situations after hours. Keep those people in your thoughts over the next few weeks, and remember that many people will not tell you that they have a situation at home that is causing stress and distraction.”
According to Gauthier, many H+M employees had their homes inundated with water during this historic event. Once the word got out, she added, the H+M team put their boots on the ground and jumped into action. “We are all a family at H+M,” said Gauthier, “and help is always there when needed.”
“My H+M family showed up to help out with the demo and clean up in ways that I could have NEVER imagined,” said one employee whose home was impacted by Hurricane Harvey. “It makes me emotional when I think about how these guys jumped on and attacked the issue as if it were their issue. Unbelievable show of compassion, for which I am deeply appreciative.”
H+M and its employees participated in a number of recovery efforts:
• H+M sponsored a pizza party for an evacuee center of primarily foster kids in Pasadena, Texas.
• H+M employees volunteered their time and energy to help affected H+M employees clean-up their homes after the hurricane.
• H+M team members banded together with First Baptist Christian Academy students to help demo houses in the local community that were devastated by Harvey.
• A small group of employees set-up a GoFundMe to support coworkers who were impacted by Harvey. They intend that the funds collected from this campaign go directly to H+M employees in need. Donations will cover the cost of food, shelter, medical expenses and other necessities for members of the H+M family.
• The H+M Young Professional Group, The Foundation, is volunteering at the Houston Food Bank to help them inspect, sort and repackage food donated to help deal with the aftermath of Harvey.
“Many thanks to H+M employees and all the volunteers who are out there helping their family members, co-workers, neighbors, and even just fellow Texans that they may not even know,” said Gauthier. “These generous acts make us proud to be part of this community.”
As an America’s Safest Company, you’d expect H+M to also focus on safety and risk management during this tough time, and the company does not disappoint.
In his message to employees, Hogan urged employees who were not directly impacted by the hurricane to pull “a little extra weight” over the next few weeks to help those who were.
“Think about how we can keep tasks organized and well communicated to keep things from falling through the cracks,” he urged. “Are there tasks that we can do that will reduce the burden on others who may need it? Can we think through jobs thoroughly to make sure we keep people safe?”
He suggested that employees take personal responsibility and ownership of items – and communicate about who is handling specific items – to strengthen the entire H+M team.
“I’m proud of the workers here at H+M,” he continued, “and how we are representative of the culture of Houston and Texas and are ready to step up and get things done when needed. Stay safe.