Spotlight: Responding to Hurricane Harvey

In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey struck near our headquarters in Spring, Texas, putting our disaster preparedness plans to the ultimate test. Over four days, many parts of the Houston metro area received more than 40 inches of rain, making Harvey the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States. By the time the rains stopped, hundreds of thousands of homes had flooded, more than 30,000 people were displaced, and the storm tied Hurricane Katrina as the most costly ever to hit the U.S.

During the storm, the Harris County Sheriff Department used our headquarters as their emergency response location for north Harris County.

We had practiced and planned for this in a series of joint emergency drills we undertake regularly as part of our ongoing relationship with local first responders.

Immediately after the storm, SWN employees formed response teams to help our colleagues and others in the community to clean, repair, move and recover. SWN’s Human Resources team went to work immediately to secure temporary housing for employees whose homes had flooded or been seriously damaged. SWN employees also contributed $61,000 to the SWN Employee Relief Fund. The Relief Fund in turn gave cash payments to employees who had been seriously impacted by the storm. Houston-area employees also rallied to support local charities, contributing more than $20,000 to disaster relief nonprofit organizations and volunteering in record numbers through SWN’s Week of Giving to help local charities who were overwhelmed by the sudden need for services.

“When Hurricane Harvey hit we were all taken off guard. But what we saw come out of Southwestern Energy was indicative of what we always see from this company. They were there, smiles on their faces, ready to work.” Allison Hulett, Montgomery County Food Bank

Outside of Houston, our employees, business partners and community member also pulled together to support those affected by the storms. In West Virginia, for example, SWN employees brainstormed ways they could help from afar. After receiving numerous queries from local vendors and residents about how they could help, the SWN team organized a fundraiser to support the SWN Employee Relief Fund. Overall, the event raised more $17,600 from SWN employees, local residents, officials and businesses.

“This event, and the support we received from employees, local community members and business partners in this operating area so far from Houston, illustrates what it means to really be ONE Team,” said Chris Flanagan, SWN Area Manager in West Virginia.

Since Hurricane Harvey, SWN and SWN employees have donated nearly $500,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery, including $61,000 to the SWN Employee Relief Fund.