In just five days, Hurricane Harvey unleashed one trillion gallons of water on the Houston area — equivalent to the amount rushing over Niagara Falls in a two-week period. The unprecedented rain has destroyed more than 100,000 Houston homes and upended the lives of millions of people, including thousands of men and women at the heart of American fuel and petrochemical manufacturing. Roughly 600,000 people are expected file for government assistance in the aftermath of the storm, as places like Baytown, Beaumont, Corpus Christi and Three Rivers — communities this industry has called home for decades — are underwater. AFPM member companies have taken immediate action at their facilities and in their communities, many establishing advanced crisis centers to support employees and help safely meet the needs of communities struggling to navigate the impacts of this once-in-a-thousand-years storm. Beyond donating millions of dollars to the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations, AFPM member companies are responding with aid in countless ways, including:
- Coordinating directly with FEMA and other government agencies;
- Pumping water out of flooding neighborhoods;
- Arranging short- and long-term housing for employees;
- Underwriting medical expenses;
- Company engineers using their expertise to work with city officials to restore tap water to homes; Coordinating rental vehicles for employees whose vehicles were damaged/lost;
- Deploying company maintenance crews to employee homes to tackle clean-up and repairs; and
- Bringing convoys into affected areas and contributing supplies.
Beyond the aid coordinated by companies, employees are opening their homes to provide shelter for one another and their families, and colleague-to-colleague financial support is pouring into foundations established to help those impacted by the storm. As member-company employees and their families and friends throughout their Houston-area communities navigate the long process of rebuilding after the storm, they will do so with the continued support of the industry.