This is a guest post by social media specialist Brent Taylor.
Normally, each week I present a (hopefully) interesting take on safety as it pertains to METRO’s system. This week, I’m doing things a bit differently - looking back on Hurricane Harvey, the massive storm that devastated much of the Texas Gulf coast last year.
During the storm, I was stationed in METRO’s Emergency Operation Center at Houston TranStar, sitting alongside agency leaders as we orchestrated thousands of transports, using our own buses, those borrowed from local school districts, and even cargo trucks purchased from military surplus.
As soon as we could match an operator with a vehicle, he or she was driving through the storm to move the displaced Houstonians from street corners to shelters. By the end of our response, METRO had transported about 15,000 people to emergency shelters and helped Red Cross move countless supplies.
This week, much of my Facebook feed has been filled with memories of Harvey. I’ve avoided most of the media, as those memories bring back the tension, anxiety, and grief felt for those who lost so much. For me, it’s still too recent to look at it with any sense of history. But, one story has stood out to me this year- written by Jeff Lindner, meteorologist with Harris County Flood Control.
If you watched TV during Hurricane Harvey, you almost undoubtedly remember Lindner as the man in the blue Oxford-style shirt, standing in front of weather maps at Houston TranStar, calmly assessing the forecast and giving hope that eventually, the storms would cease. Lindner’s 4,000-word post on a local news website takes the reader through the storm, navigating the myriad of response agencies, relief shelters, and immense resilience exhibited by the Houston area.
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