Houstonian’s Tale of Unity, Resilience and Recovery

May 21, 2024

<a href="https://www.ewrdigital.com/author/matt" target="_self">Matt Bertram</a>

Matt Bertram

Matt Bertram is a award-winning marketing consultant and SEO Expert. He is the lead digital strategist at EWR Digital. Host of the Best SEO Podcast and Co-Host of the Oil and Gas sales and marketing podcast.
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Weathering the Storm: A Houstonian’s Tale of Resilience and Community

Last week, our beloved city of Houston was hit by one of the most devastating storms in recent memory. It was a harrowing experience, but amidst the chaos, the resilience and unity of my fellow Houstonians shone through. Here’s my account of living through those stormy days and the aftermath that followed.

The Storm Hits

It was Thursday evening when the skies darkened ominously to black from just heavy rain. I had been keeping an eye on the weather reports for a 2:30pm CST storm, but nothing could have prepared me for the sheer ferocity of the storm that was about to hit. It all happened within 30 minutes around 4pm CST. The wind howled with a force I had never experienced before, rattling the windows and shaking the very foundations of my office on the 7th floor at 13105 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77040. Thunder roared like a thousand drums, and lightning illuminated the night sky with an eerie, relentless torandos came. Never in over 30 years of living in Houston has something like this happened.

As I huddled in the safest part of my office, the power flickered once, twice, and then went out completely, the building generator did kick on with emergency lighting. The sudden silence that followed was deafening of the sound of the storm raging outside.

houston downtown towers damaged

The Aftermath

When the storm finally passed, the devastation it left in its wake was unimaginable. Stepping outside, I saw the businesses and the neighborhood next to the building transformed into a scene of chaos. Trees had been uprooted, their massive roots jutting out of the ground like twisted sculptures. Houses and businesses were reduced to piles of rubble, and shards of glass littered the streets. Downtown, skyscrapers had their windows shattered, and debris was scattered everywhere.

But the most heart-wrenching part was hearing about the lives lost. At least seven people had perished in the storm. It was a sobering reminder of nature’s unpredictable fury and the fragility of life.

Reputation Management
I 10 storm damage in houston min 1

Power Outages and Heat

With the power out, I headed home to check on the family. The heat and humidity of Houston quickly became unbearable. Without air conditioning, the days could of been sweltering, and the nights did offered some relief, but know I know that this is why you have a generator if you live in Houston.

I did my best to stay cool, but there was no internet or power as well as cell towers in our area where done. I tried to get messages out to the team or check on their homes status. It was a little scary and a bit of a challenge to have first world comforts taken away with no idea when they would be restored, but I knew I wasn’t alone. Across the city, hundreds of thousands of my fellow Houstonians were facing the same struggles together.

A Glimmer of Hope

On Sunday, there was finally a glimmer of hope. Officials announced that power had been restored to the majority of those affected by the outage. The hum of electricity returning to our homes was a sweet sound, signaling a step towards normalcy, but we still has transistors down to we did not have power yet. While the recovery process is far from over, knowing that power and internet was going back shortly was comforting.

School was cancelled so having to work and not having power and internet yet Monday morning, I headed to Club Westside with the kids. Seems like others had the same idea! There was a great sense of community and I found other marketers and graphic designers. I saw some great work and had discussions about social media marketing tactics. It was enjoyable and the kids had fun as well.

People working Club Westside on generator power after houston strom min 1

Community Spirit

Throughout this ordeal, what has struck me the most is the incredible spirit of our community!  Neighbors, clients and vendors checked on each other, shared resources, and offered support. Local businesses and organizations mobilized quickly to provide aid and infomation to those in need. It reminded me of the strength and resilience that define us as Houstonians.

Staying Safe and Moving Forward

As we continue to rebuild and recover, it’s important to remember that safety comes first. There are still hazards out there – downed power lines, unstable structures, and floodwaters. Let’s all stay vigilant and look out for one another. Currently we are offering limited PR services to businesses that need to provide commuinity relations and get the word out during this time arcoss Houston and those businesses that have been hit. We have been working romotely effectively since the pandemic and most team members now do have power and internet.

Team Training, facilitator, EWR Digital, Ben Berman, Traction Book

Message to Houstonians post Storm

To my fellow Houstonians, clients and friends, stay safe and stay strong!

We’ve faced adversity before, and we’ve always come through stronger on the other side. This storm was a test of our resilience, and once again, we’ve proven that we can weather any storm together. Let’s continue to support each other and rebuild our city with the same determination and unity that we’ve shown in these and past challenging times.

Houston, we’ll get through this – one day at a time. “Houston Strong.”