Sept. 7, 2017

Houston-based Universal Weather and Aviation Inc. has raised more than $115,000 to help employees and their immediate families who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey, and the company will match each dollar up to $250,000 for the effort.

Universal Weather and Aviation Chairman Greg Evans, who is an NBAA board member and chairs the association’s Associate Member Advisory Committee, said that about 10 percent of the company’s nearly 700 Houston-based employees were severely affected by the storm, with many of them losing their homes. Water levels exceeded five feet in some homes, and several employees had to be rescued by first responders.

“We are saddened and heartbroken for their losses and devastation,” Evans said, but “we are pleased to let you know that, as a company, we are providing assistance to employees who have been impacted. Since many of our clients have graciously asked how they can help with donations etc., we set up a YouCaring page for our Universal employees in need.”

Money raised so far is already being put to good use by helping employees most in need to find shelter, food, clothing and transportation.

Universal Weather and Aviation crew cleaning-up

“And it’s not just monetary donations we’ve received,” added Evans. “More than 20 Universal employees, some of whom were flooded themselves, have donated countless hours of their time and energy helping with gutting and cleaning flooded homes, providing shelter to coworkers, cooking hot meals and so much more. And these are only the stories we know about. There are countless more unknown heroes among our team helping those in need.”

Despite the devastation, Universal never ceased operations during the hurricane, as it implemented its business continuity plan to ensure its clients were not impacted. “I want to express my personal and profound thanks to our employees’ efforts to maintain our business continuity with what seems to be without any noticeable affect to customers at all!” Evans said.

People seeking to help with the relief effort in Texas are encouraged to visit NBAA’s Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) Database, a list of people in the business aviation community who are part of disaster-response mobilization efforts. In the aftermath of major crises, basic information from the database is provided to organizations coordinating relief efforts.

PHOTO CREDIT: Universal Weather and Aviation