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When Hurricane Harvey forced Bob Juillerat’s family to evacuate their home in
Harvey, which slammed into Texas’ shores on Friday, August 25, will go down in infamy as one of our nation’s most destructive storms. Nassau Bay was among the many communities overwhelmed by massive flooding.
Bob, a Booz Allen mechanical engineer who works with NASA, spent the next five days living at the fire station working 20-hour search and rescue shifts. Manning a jet ski during the day and a high-water truck at night, he and his fellow volunteers—including several Booz Allen employees—rescued about 80 people and 20 animals.
“They captained rescue boats. They donated clothes. They staffed emergency shelters. Wherever they saw need, they rushed to fill it.”
Bob’s story is just one example of Booz Allen’s community of support stepping up, independently and as a firm, to aid those struggling in Harvey’s wake. A passion for serving others—through supporting government missions, or volunteering for important causes—is a defining quality of our workforce.
While the full toll from Harvey’s record rainfall and devastating flooding is not yet known, it will clearly be unprecedented.
Booz Allen Army operations expert Doug Martin, a resident of central Texas, knew he couldn’t sit idly by and watch news coverage of the disaster roll in. He connected with his fishing buddies, loaded up on bottled water, and organized a trip—fishing boat in tow. Two days later, he was in the impact zone, working with a local group to bring stranded citizens to safety.
Andrea Tennison, a Booz Allen emergency management expert, is coordinating our ongoing effort to ensure that the 770 employees who live in the affected area get the assistance they need.
As the storm raged through the weekend, she and her team activated the firm’s emergency alert system to tag up with all vulnerable employees. When some didn’t respond, Andrea personally called them to ensure they were out of harm’s way.
Working with the firm’s travel specialists, she provided hotel rooms for employees who evacuated to shelters. When one needed a ride between the shelter and her hotel, Andrea asked local teams for assistance. Ted Sutton, a counter-improvised explosive device expert who supports Booz Allen’s Army clients, hopped into his truck and took necessary detours to make the journey through the flood.
“From leadership to people on the ground, I’ve seen everyone put people first,” Andrea says. “It’s at the core of who we are as a firm. We have a fundamental desire to know our people are OK. If they’re not, we do what’s necessary to get them help.”
When the firm announced it would match employee contributions to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund up to a total of $50,000, employees exceeded the goal within hours. Inspired by their generosity, firm leadership raised the match to $100,000, which employees exceeded within 72 hours of the campaign’s launch. Through the corporate match and donations from employees as far away as Lebanon and Japan, the Booz Allen community donated nearly $250,000 to disaster relief. “It’s a great feeling to know we have support from the entire company,” says Steve Wright, a leader in the firm’s Houston office.
As waters receded, Steve and other local employees visited the homes of colleagues devastated by flooding. There, they joined forces with friends and neighbors to pull up destroyed carpeting, tear out
“It’s hard to ask for help, so we didn’t wait for that to happen. We just showed up and got to work. People were tremendously grateful,” Steve says.
Steve and his colleagues also volunteered in other ways during and after the storm. They captained rescue boats. They donated clothes. They staffed emergency shelters. Wherever they saw
It’s a source of pride to see Booz Allen employees coming through
Andrea sees that ingenuity on display as she continues to coordinate the firm’s disaster response. “No one is letting their usual roles constrain them,” she says. “No one’s saying, ‘that’s not something we typically do.’ People are thinking as far outside the box as necessary to find ways to make sure their colleagues are OK.”