RS&H associates regularly respond to coastlines and other areas when they are ravaged by hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Such was the case when Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and Irma decimated Florida. Associates in RS&H’s Transportation Infrastructure and Transportation Construction Management Practices assessed and inspected hundreds of bridges and roads in Texas and Florida to ensure they were safe in the hours and days after these major hurricanes struck.
But the pair of deadly storms cut through paths that affected several of RS&H’s largest offices. While all RS&H associates safely made it through the storms, more than 25 experienced significant damage to their homes, automobiles, and property.
While many worked to recover after the damage, even more associates worked to help them. In the RS&H Dallas office, associates volunteered to stack and sort supplies to send to Harvey victims. In all, more than 150 associates across the country responded with donations in the days afterward, and in combination with company donations, raised nearly $40,000 to benefit those who were affected.
“It was really heartfelt to see how many associates very quickly stepped up to contribute in Texas, and a week later we found ourselves in a similar situation in Florida,” said RS&H Executive Vice President John Bottaro. “To see (our response), it was inspiring, and I think it speaks to the special family that we have here.”
Of the affected associates, many had to evacuate their homes. Some returned to find their houses had been flooded, while others suffered wind damage. Nevertheless, the RS&H family stood strong and helped each other through these difficult times, Bottaro said.
“Many of our associates are still going through and addressing issues they have,” he added. “But it was really eye opening to see our response. It speaks volumes to the culture of this company.”
RS&H CEO David Sweeney echoed Bottaro’s praise at the company’s annual town hall meeting on Wednesday.
“From a leadership position, you can think you have a good thing going on with your people and the culture that’s been created,” Sweeney said. “And then you have hardship and you realize that it’s not just words. It really is a community in this company that has built over time and continues to strengthen.”