In late August, Texans experienced mass devastation after Hurricane Harvey made its way through the Texas Gulf.
Winds of 130 mph whipped through the communities of South Texas destroying businesses and homes. While Hurricane Harvey may have destroyed structures, it did not break the spirit of Texas. Days, weeks and now months after Hurricane Harvey’s damage, there are relief efforts happening throughout the region.
I am proud to say that STEER members were immediately ready to assist the residents, businesses and first responders of South Texas who were impacted by the hurricane. Collectively, member companies have pledged nearly $11 million in funding for the United Way and American Red Cross to assist with recovery efforts for communities in South Texas. Many employers even agreed to match employee donations!
In addition to monetary contributions, STEER members volunteered their time at various shelters, delivered much-needed supplies and nonperishable goods to those hosting evacuees and held barbecues for displaced families. To provide assistance to the first responders who were working around the clock, STEER members delivered tools, equipment, food and water. Member companies have continued to offer support through debris removal and trash pickup.
Hurricane Harvey is considered one of the most damaging natural disasters in the United States, causing billions of dollars in damage. We recognize that the recovery will be a long process, but rest assured the relief efforts will continue.
While it may take years to rebuild communities in South Texas, residents are not in this fight alone. STEER staff remain in constant communication with local officials on the status of communities, trying to find ways to assist those who need help the most.
I am proud of all STEER members who have stepped up to provide assistance. I want to thank all of you for putting the needs of South Texas communities first. It is with your efforts and kindness that these communities are beginning the process of rebuilding.
I’d also like to thank the Ingleside Chamber of Commerce, United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce. These organizations worked closely with STEER to quickly provide relief and assistance to residents and area businesses.
Although Hurricane Harvey left a trail of shattered debris, it did not shatter the spirit of Texans. STEER’s member companies were quick to set disaster relief efforts in motion, but even quicker at working to bridge community hope.
Our thoughts continue to be with the families affected by Hurricane Harvey. Together, we can make a difference in their lives. If you are interested in donating to those who still need help, please visit www.unitedwaysatx.org/harveyrelief17.
About the author: Omar Garcia is the President and CEO of the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable, STEER. STEER connects the oil and gas industry to South Texas communities, facilitating and coordinating communication, education and public advocacy surrounding the production of energy resources in South Texas.