What Happened After the Large Snow Storm in Texas
I remember in February reading the news about the big freeze that happened in Texas; I was shocked at how much water damage there was from the freezing pipes. Working as a SERVPRO franchise, you really get to see their system shine when there's a natural disaster. SERVPRO has storm teams that receives a large influx of claims from our partners at AAA, State Farm, Farmers, etc. When this happens. they activate the alarm for all of the franchises to mobilize. The storm team advised us that help was needed in Houston so after some quick planning, we decided to start our trek.
Our estimator Reynaldo and myself flew out first while our trucks hit the road for a 2 day trip. When I arrived, the snow had just cleared but the city still had a large amount of water damage. I handle logistics for the company, so it was my role to secure a place for our team to stay, make sure that we have a storage for our equipment, and extra vehicles for inspections, estimates, monitoring, and late night Whataburger cravings.
Once Rey and I got settled the following day, we decided to call through some of the people that were assigned to us. If there's one thing to note, it's how great the SERVPRO system is; we didn't have make cold calls or knock on doors. Since the Storm team already received the files, they would just assign them for us to call. We would get between 40 and 80 homeowners at a time to call through and see if they had received service.
As Rey and I started to call these people, we really got to see something that we don't experience in San Diego; real catastrophe. Here at home, when there's a water loss, the home owner is in immediate need and can usually call someone to get assistance within a couple of hours. In Texas, it had been two weeks since the snow had affected the area and many people were still on lists to get help. Many of these homeowners have a similar set up where there's a water heater in the attic that burst after freezing, affecting 1-2 floors of the their house, and were waiting for a plumber to fix the pipes. The people that we inspected still had debris from the sheetrock on the floor, mold, soaked carpets and cabinets, and in many instances no water.
After some inspections, our crew arrived on a Saturday night and got to work. The rest proceeded as it normally would at home: we inspect the damage and mark the affected areas, we communicate with the insurance, and once we have the green light we start the work. Our team would prepare the area, do demolition on all affected walls, dispose of all the debris, clean everything else, and leave equipment for drying. 8 weeks later and dozens of houses fixed, our crews are scheduled to come home in a couple of days.
We're truly grateful for our team; they worked long shifts, adapted to a new city, spent time away from their families, and really dedicated themselves to serving people when there was no one else to turn to. After this experience, we are planning on traveling more in the future. There is a tangible impact that our crews left with the clients and we're happy that we have an opportunity to keep making an impact with our company.