09.06.2017People

Hurricane Harvey survival story: connected through thick and thicker

By: Megan Schaefer
Watch Video Hurricane Harvey survival story: connected through thick and thicker

“I’ve never experienced anything like this. Ever,” Robin Farris explains, revealing that she’s never encountered a storm as devastating as Hurricane Harvey. “It’s never really flooded here.”

That all changed the morning after Harvey hit Texas. By 6 a.m., the Houstonian’s neighborhood was flooded with waist-deep water. This officially closed Robin’s window of opportunity to escape by car. Now, she and her family needed to be rescued by boat. And fast.

“We decided staying was not an option. Because what would it be after two more days of rain? How would we get our kids out?” she questions.

So, Robin, her husband and three children took matters into their own hands and rescued themselves using a neighbor’s boat.

While it was hard for Robin to leave her home and belongings, she knows it was the right decision to make. “It’s hard to lose everything in your home. But anything is replaceable, but not your family,” she says softly.

Through thick and thicker

After Robin and her family escaped, they needed somewhere to go. However, Robin reveals it was a struggle to contact family members who weren’t on a Verizon plan. “My mother has a different carrier,” Robin admits, “and I wasn’t able to get in touch with her.” Luckily for Robin, she was easily able to get hold of her Verizon-carrying in-laws to tell them where to meet her family.

Hurricane Harvey flooded backyard

“Verizon has always stayed strong. So, without that, I wouldn’t have been able to get in contact with my in-laws to be able to save us,” she says.

Robin has been a Verizon customer for almost twenty years. And there’s a reason for her longtime commitment. Robin made the switch to Verizon after her father was the only person in his neighborhood to have service following a previous hurricane. I am loyal because they have been here through Ike, through Rita, through Katrina and now through Harvey. And I’ve never lost service,” Robin says, knowing the importance of staying connected. “It’s very important to have a reliable source of communications,” Robin says, calling Verizon a “worthwhile insurance policy.” “It’s like your lifeline to everybody out there.”

Now that Robin and her family are safe, she’s ready to start recovery efforts and to rebuild her life. “Houston is going to come back strong. We’re Texans — we’re going to be fine,” she says with hope in her voice.

Verizon has committed $10 million to relief efforts, learn more about the donation.

For related media inquiries, please contact story.inquiry@one.verizon.com

About the author(s): 

Megan Schaefer is a member of the Verizon’s external communications team. Her areas of interest include brand storytelling, social strategy and technology.