Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coastline in August of 2017 with devastating force. Next to Katrina, Harvey’s 134 mph winds caused one of the most destructive tropical storms ever recorded with $125 billion in damage. The catastrophic rainfall that followed triggered flooding that left a third of the Greater Houston area under water.
Roadways were under water. Power was out all over the city. Search and rescue efforts were underway. Amid this chaos, and with local police officers and first responders overworked and overwhelmed, three of Houston’s largest corporations — ongoing Summit clients — enlisted the support of Summit Off Duty Services.
- AT&T asked Summit to protect valuable assets like mobile cell towers, generators, and fuel cells, as well as see to the delivery of relief aid, and protect the charging centers they set up to serve the community at evacuation sites.
- Waste Management enlisted Summit’s support to not only protect assets but to provide traffic control during the clean up when so many people were delivering their own waste to WM sites. Throngs of consumer vehicles needed to move safely in and out of landfill sites in a carefully coordinated pattern. Summit made it happen.
- XOM requested, in addition to protecting production facilities, for Summit officers to secure the company’s main campus and protect the emergency response teams who were working around the clock to keep critical infrastructure up and running.
Before the storm ever made landfall, Summit began working with law enforcement departments across Texas, as far west as Amarillo, and into Oklahoma and Mississippi to find police officers and prepare them to deploy to key areas of impact.
When Harvey hit land, Summit was there. Starting in Rockport, Summit officers helped navigate supply convoys past flooded roads, to key communication points and supply staging areas. Initially, the scope of services was rather limited but came to include 500 officers from 140 different agencies who deployed as Harvey lingered over south Texas.
When it became apparent that this would not be a typical, single-day hurricane, Summit began to anticipate where more resources would be needed and worked diligently to strategize on how to get officers there, given the many road closures. Summit moved with the storm, mobilizing officers as Harvey moved to the east, across Texas and Louisiana. It filled in the gaps where local resources were stretched to the max.
Over the course of one month, the officers deployed by Summit made multiple arrests and successfully met all customer goals for protecting people and assets in more than 100 communities. The Summit team helped ExxonMobil and AT&T maintain 100% uptime for all critical telecommunications and energy infrastructure. Throughout the storm, Summit executives were on the front lines of the impact zone, helping coordinate supplies and logistics, checking officer safety and providing a steady supply of relief to local law enforcement departments and first responders.
Ultimately, Summit was intentional about transferring the post-storm off-duty work requests to a more localized force, officers who were rebuilding after the storm and needed the supplemental income. Out-of-town officers returned to their home base.
Agile as ever, when Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida just 15 days after Harvey hit, Summit was there again, offering traffic control services and site protection to a major local enterprise.