COA Community Hurricane Harvey Success Story 

Posted on Monday,  June 10, 2019

View our printable version or download and share with a fellow board member here.


CHALLENGE:

After Hurricane Harvey hit in the late summer of 2017, devastation was everywhere. 

  • Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters to hit the Gulf Coast inflicting an approximate $125 million in damages statewide.
  • The storm displaced more than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues, including a luxury, high-rise condominium managed by FirstService Residential in Houston, Texas.
  • The main bayou, which runs through downtown Houston, flooded the basement and parking garage of the one-hundred-year-old building.

EXPLORATION:

After the storm subsided, the real recovery began. The high-rise was evacuated because the flooding damaged huge sections of the basement and the parking garage.

  • Due to the impact statewide, rescue and restoration services were limited or booked. However, within two days, Senior Director of High-Rise Dan Westman visited the building.
  • The high-rise was abandoned with no electricity,  no water and debris everywhere.
  • The insurance claims process was time-consuming and extremely lengthy, so a loan needed to be secured in the interim for needed repairs.

“The relationship FirstService Residenital had with our contractors gave us an edge
and helped us get the resources we needed quickly." 

-Dan Westman
Senior Director of High-Rise Houston

SOLUTIONS:

Dan Westman was the main point of contact for all daily communication with vendors, lenders and board members throughout the contract and recovery process until the building was habitable.

  • FirstService Residential leveraged their relationships with vendors to get an immediate response and begin the recovery process.
  • Because of the insurance delays, the Board was able to secure a temporary emergency loan of $1.9 million through FirstService Financial with competitive interest rates.
  • The cleanup took several weeks, and it took several more weeks to restore power.
  • Due to the damage, vendors had to rewire the building. Residents were able to return to their homes in October. The whole process took about a month and a half.

“Dan was awesome. He jumped in and did whatever it took.
He was on top of the process. He took ownership of everything, rolled up his sleeves and really helped. Tammy, our general manager, was outstanding. She was hands on, knowledgeable and responsive.

 
Jennifer T. 
COA Board Member

 
 

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