By EO Global Staff
On Saturday morning, 26 August, it became apparent that Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S., was in deep trouble–chest-deep in homes and over the roofs of cars and 18-wheelers, to be exact. The floodwaters were rising and families, moms, dads, dogs and young children were seeking refuge on the roofs of their homes, praying for rescue.
This summer has been a bad one for flooding: Southeast Asia’s most severe monsoon season in years has killed more than 1,200 people in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Currently, the 20 million residents of Mumbai and the 6 million residents of Houston are experiencing unprecedented flooding tragedies that continue to unfold. The images are haunting.
When the floodwaters began to rise in Texas, EO’s Houston chapter president, Josh Jacobs, knew his fellow member-leaders would be in a unique position to Boldly Go and Make a Mark on their communities. With around 150 members scattered across Greater Houston and the impacted region, he started a WhatsApp page where members could connect to share information about procedures, rescues, relief availability and next steps.
The page became a lifeline where EO members found support and help as Hurricane Harvey raged on . . . and on . . . and on, for four days and nights of seemingly endless heavy downpours, with some regions reporting up to 51 inches of rain.
While Harvey was still pounding the region, about 30 EO members and their families helped clean out one member’s flooded house: ripping out and removing flood-soaked carpet, sheetrock and ruined furniture. What would have taken the family several days to accomplish was done in about three hours.
Another member took matters into his own hands, paddling his kayak through flooded streets, rescuing stranded strangers. Overall, the compassion, support and generosity of EO members is evident when you read the posts that so many made to the shared WhatsApp page—checking in on one another, offering dry spaces to work and stay, sharing resources and information—their comments are a microcosm of the greater Houston community’s response to this catastrophe, gleaming through as a silver lining amid utter destruction.
Below, we share some of their posts anonymously to provide a window into the heart of Houston during Hurricane Harvey:
Is anyone in need of anything right now? We have chapters around the U.S. reaching out to see how they can help. We can deal with business and employee issues as this all clears up.
One of our speakers, Gian Paul Gonzales, talked about being “All In.” I think at this point we are “All In,” either helping ourselves or others! There is no other way. Let’s band together and do amazing things! We are truly a small town in one big city.
My condo (Galleria) has a very large lobby, conference room, and lounge area if you need connectivity for work. Also:
My sister has an apartment across from Liberty Kitchen that can host people.
My downtown office has space for 6 people and will be mostly empty for next couple weeks as I’m out of town.
EO Dallas has reached out and offered their offices and homes for those needing longer-term options.
I hear Cajun Navy is doing a great job in the Katy area. I found another way to get hold of them. If someone needs a rescue you can use the Zello app. It’s basically like a walkie-talkie and Cajun Navy has a dispatcher on it.
Re: I bet there are many from NOLA who have wished for a time to pay back friends from Houston―so amazing and inspiring! THIS is what America is about. NOT Charlottesville!! We need to focus media on these heroes!
Friend of a friend, family of 4 needs to be rescued, water all around, about 5 feet deep. No access. No power, almost no battery. (Address was listed)
Re: I texted a friend in the area who is doing rescue. Haven’t heard back and don’t know if he’s close enough. I’ll close the loop if I hear back.
Re2: Most of the numbers listed as rescuers have a full VM. I texted some about the situation instead. Does anyone know who is doing rescues in Canyon Gate?
(Later) Re3: Thanks, all who offered help―they are rescued.
Just dropped car load of clothing, etc., from my neighborhood at GRB convention center. So inspiring and surreal to witness the 30-minute line of cars to drop needed items and volunteers working organized with police in pouring rain. Coast guard helicopters coming in nonstop dropping displaced people. If weather permits, what about a group of us try to go to GRB tomorrow to volunteer?
I’m at (member name’s) house. He took on water. If you’re in Bellaire and can help he is at: (address)
Re: I am down the street helping a neighbor. Will be over when finished moving his furniture.
Re2: I’m on the way!
Re3: Me too…
NEED A LEAD ON AVIATION FUEL: Group of 5 helicopters being operated by former Special Forces need 3,000 gallons to keep operating next 2 days. My company will pick up the fuel if anyone can refer us a source. Funds have been collected to pay for it. Please send me any leads.
I have a close friend and insurance agent in Sour Lake that has taken 30 people in so far. He said it’s bad there, too, and they need boats. Do we have anyone in that area that can help?
Re: I will be there at 11 a.m.
As we figure out where our businesses stand, please let me know what you need and we will make a Google doc for all the needs we have so we can see where people can help. EO Global, Louisiana, Florida, Virginia, Dallas, Monterrey, Ft. Worth and others have all reached out to help. This EO community is amazing!
A very special thank you to my fellow EO Houston members for coming over and moving trash, cutting and removing sheetrock, and bringing food and drinks! I am eternally grateful to each and every one of you. Thank you so much!!
Amazing EOers living our values and “Making a Mark,” I have several requests from our fellow EOers in Boston who would like to know of a great local group they can donate to. They prefer to donate locally rather than through Red Cross. Contacts??
It’s great to work alongside you guys. Let’s get some rest and meet back up here online tomorrow and do it again …
Most importantly, I hope you are all safe. May not all be dry, but stuff is all replaceable. Thank you, Josh, and your leadership for establishing this group.
The bond of EO, words can’t do it justice!
Y’all are all amazing!! Boldly Go!!!
Love my EO family!