Hurricanes are a way of life if you choose to live in Florida. Fortunately, our area has been left relatively untouched for a long time. This absence sometimes leads to a tendency to downplay the threat of a storm as it approaches. After all, how often does weather go where the weatherman says it will?
Hurricane Harvey made everything more serious. The devastation and loss of life reminded us that not only is the threat real, but the power of mother nature can be extremely brutal. For the last 2 weeks we have been following Hurricane Irma as it formed, twisted and turned through the Atlantic and Caribbean. Over time it became evident that there was a good chance this hurricane could be headed straight for Tampa. The “spaghetti models” had various strands of pasta going right up the west coast of Florida. The “cone of uncertainty” was basically a map of the state of Florida. I’ve lived in Tampa for most of my life but somehow this one felt a bit more real.
I’ve written before in earlier blogs about the regard in which I hold Gator Gypsum and the people I work with on a daily basis. In times of duress this was further solidified. As the hurricane approached, we were told to go home and take care of our families. Trucks were stored and metal secured for the ensuing hurricane. We all knew that if we needed a place to go, that all we had to do was call. A text string went out and gave instructions to download an app called Zello that we could use if cell service went down to stay in touch. Throughout the storm, we checked up on each other and made sure that families were secure.
With Irma looming my family decided to evacuate to Orlando. At the time it looked to be the safer and more prudent choice. We were given the day off (Monday) to hopefully return to normal and we got part of Tuesday to clean up our homes.
I sincerely believe that employees work harder and happier when their employers that have their back. Loyalty is a word not often heard in today’s workforce but I can assure you that it is a prevalent principle at Gator Gypsum. I like for our customers to know what kind of company that they are dealing with, and how much we value our jobs and fellow employees. Irma was extremely destructive and devastating but the compassion and fellowship that happened as a result only strengthens our community’s resolve to rebuild.