Lessons from Hurricane Harvey - A Year Later

Starting Saturday, we will be honoring all those who lost so much due to Hurricane Harvey. 

The storm made landfall 4 days in South Texas before it showed up here in the Houston area. There was plenty of news coverage so we knew the storm was coming but we were not sure what to expect at first.

All the coverage said the winds were not hurricane level and were tropical storm wind gusts. This was great news for the nearly 7 million people in the greater Houston area. If NOAA, was telling us we didn’t need to evacuate and the news stations and government agencies, we had no urgency to worry. They were telling us to shelter in place because of the possibility of major rainfall.

I’ve been through every hurricane in this area since the early 80’s. We evacuated only once and it was horrible. 

How do you evacuate all these people? 

When we did evacuate that one time, there were lessons learned and a master plan was created to evacuate this area coordinated with federal, state and local agencies with a staging of 5 prone flood zones with Zone 1 to be evacuated first when mandatory evacuation was announced.

I felt safe. I have never flooded due to a hurricane and never lost any property due to high winds. Even living in Zone 5 for evacuation, I still felt prepared. Every hurricane season, I prepare by buying extra water, can goods and extra batteries for flash lights, radios and extra gasoline. When we came back from the time we evacuated, we went over 2 weeks without any electricity for the whole area. 

You can’t pump gas without electricity.

You can’t buy perishable goods because there is no refrigeration.

You can’t run the AC in 100 degree weather, anywhere!

Right after our evacuation, I bought a generator that ran on gas and would kick on after 48 hours without electricity. I’ve never had to use it.

Hurricane Harvey was coming and the closer it got the more we were told it was going to be a rain event. 

Before the storm landed in my town, my 27 year old son came down and helped clean the gutters and secure patio furniture and bring in anything that might be carried by winds just in case.

Then the rain started falling. 



At midnight, I tried to get some sleep. By then the streets were flooded, but I had been through that many times. We all have down here. You shelter in place until the water subsides.

At 4 AM, I awoke and knew I might be in trouble. I dressed in boots and rain gear and with a flashlight, I went out my front door. The water had reached my front walk. 

By this time, the rain was so torrential that it sounded like freight trains were going pass every side of the house. I couldn’t even hear my neighbor who was trying to give me directions as to what to do.

Running into the house, I placed as much as I could on higher furniture. With a 1 story, I didn’t have a second floor to use. I placed red solo cups on furniture legs, put chairs on tables and anything on the floor or a first shelf went to higher ground. I could only do what I could during that time and when I opened the front door the water was at the door. In a useless attempt to beat the water, I stuffed towels along the bottom of the front and back doors. I pulled up a chair and waited.

Hurricane Harvey - 2017


Thinking - I was responsible for whatever was going to happen next.

Thinking - I was totally alone.

Thinking - I had no one to help me.

Thinking - I made some quick decisions on what was no longer important.

Thinking - I can get to the attic if I need to do that.

As the water started seeping in, I was holding every muscle in my body ready to do the next thing. I waited and waited. The water came into the front hall and stop. 

The water in the garage was another story and the roof did not fair well. 

In the end, my area received 52” of rain in 48 hours. It took three days for the water to subside in the street and another 5 days before I could go down to the major intersection less than 1 mile down the road.

I was blessed but some of my neighbors were not. 

Over 35% of the homes flooded in my town. Many of them now have been torn down. So many lost so much - their homes and their business. Billions of dollars in damage and lives lost. The financial impact for the area was in the billions.

In the aftermath of the storm, I lost 50% of my clients because their businesses were destroyed. 

It was a financial hit I hadn’t expected.

Thank goodness not all my clients were in my area which was a blessing and a lesson.

Three days after the storm hit, I received a call from someone I had met the month before saying she wanted to help. Would it be helpful to me if I came her way to speak to her group and offer my services? It was a wonderful gift! So two days after the airport opened, I flew and gave my talk.

This is what I know. 

If you know how to inspire others to work with you and authentically sell your services or products to the right potential client, you can put food on the table, pay your mortgage and eventually live the life you desire.

I did not knock it out of the park with that talk. I was high on adrenaline and probably suffering some PTSD due to the storm. But I did sign one client that day. When I got home I got on the phone every day booking speaking gigs so I could close clients. I was doing well before the storm. I honed my skills, strategy and keyed in on the psychology around sales with my therapy background.

It worked.

I have tripled my income from before the storm and have attracted awesome clients who have big things to accomplish in this world!

 I can work with you to accomplish the same for your business.

The quickest way to do this is to attend my 2 Day Sales Intensive. If this is speaking to you, click here to register. If you would like to speak to me about whether this is right for you click here.

Don’t forget my movement - Yes! And! Yes, you serve And make money!