For all the damage inflicted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, I believe that as a company we should consider ourselves very fortunate. Our employees and their families are safe, and, thanks to your generosity, we are already working to get disrupted lives back on track. Compared to many, we have much to be thankful for.
I remember a story from a couple of years ago when terrible rain storms caused widespread flooding in Houston. One of our employees was caught in the path of rushing flood waters and had to immediately abandon her apartment. With no time for thoughtful contemplation, she grabbed her laptop, phone and dog. I couldn’t help but think of her experience as I watched countless images of people fighting to keep a handful of important possessions from sinking away.
Given the same situation with the water rising around you, what would you take? I think about this sometimes, as it helps to put things in perspective and reminds us of what is really important in our lives. For me, once I knew my wife and kids were safe, I would pick up Smokey (read my first blog post) because she really is part of the family, and then I would make sure to take my wedding album and my coffee maker. Both are vitally important to me for very personal reasons. The photo album contains some favorite memories from the day Natalie and I were married and a good cup of coffee makes everything better. Assume the people you love are safe, what would you carry out of your home?
Quick update on our PulteGroup family. We are working closely with about a dozen employees in Houston who are dealing with severely damaged homes, flooded cars and a lot of chaos in their lives. Amazingly, given Hurricane Irma impacted just about the entire state of Florida, employee damage has been minimal, although we are still collecting information as power outages have made communications a challenge in certain areas. Again, I thank all of you for your contributions and repeated offers to lend support and assistance. It is truly heartwarming to see such an outpouring of concern and generosity.