You have probably heard the term pay it forward many times. It means to respond to a person’s kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else. This phenomenon is not new, it can not only brighten someone’s day, but it can change the course of someone’s life. The latter is the case when it comes to how Texans are banding together in lieu of the devastation caused by recent Hurricane Harvey.
On August 25th, Hurricane Harvey dropped 40-52 inches of rain on southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. The category 4 hurricane caused catastrophic flooding in its path and flash flooding in parts of Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Wind from Harvey also resulted in damage to homes, buildings and widespread destruction.
Just as we pointed out in our recent blog article, How Will The 2017 Hurricane Season Affect Mosquito Populations?. What is important to realize is that along with property damage, injuries, loss of life and sheer devastation resulting from a hurricane, flooding from hurricanes can elevate mosquito populations and increase mosquito-borne illness and disease in their aftermath. The effects of which may not come to fruition until months down the road.
I recently reached out to Charles Boswell, owner of Mosquito Squad of Victoria and Cory Barcomb from Mosquito Squad of Houston to learn more about the way they are banding together to help those in need by treating the susceptible areas where mosquitoes spawn and thrive.
Charles Boswell described the feeling following the hurricane and how driving through the local neighborhoods to treat for mosquitoes made him feel like the “ice cream man” in a sense. Along with ensuring all of his customer’s mosquito control needs were taken care of he also volunteered his time and product to the local Boys & Girls Club, the FEMA camp that was stationed on the Victoria College campus, the Warriors Weekend group stationed at the local VFW and local churches. Even though Victoria did not see quite the amount of damage and devastation Harvey brought to neighboring Houston, anywhere he saw help was needed he would stop and mist.
The good news, Charles says, “aerial mist have taken place over the parts of the city hit the hardest and the subsequent weather they have been experiencing has been in there favor.”
My conversation with Cory Barcomb of Mosquito Squad of Houston, painted a different picture in my mind about the impact the storm has had on residents. Cory compared it to that of what you would see in a war zone. Cory said they worked hard to head off any mosquito issues at the pass before their presence had a chance to become a problem as soon as they were able to make it back to the shop. This team put in a lot of long hours and hard work to determine which areas were accessible each day due to the flooding. In many cases, the fastest routes to get to certain areas weren’t even an option.
Along with ensuring current customers were taken care of, Mosquito Squad of Houston also donated their products and services treated as many of the areas as they could to those in need. Cory was even asked to participate in a segment by local Click2Houston news to offer recommendations on what residents can do to reduce mosquito numbers and help reduce the risk of mosquito-borne illness:
Both Charles and Cory commented about the way Texans have pulled together to help one another to overcome the aftermath of Harvey from all angles. During my conversation with Cory from Mosquito Squad of Houston, he mentioned while navigating through the ravaged streets of Houston, immediately following the hurricane, seeing signs that read Texas strong.
Though it may take years to restore things as they once were, it is heartwarming and makes us all hopeful that Texas cannot only build things back as they once were, but build them back better. With this in mind, I look to the state motto of Texas; friendship. Texas actually comes from the Indian word tejas meaning friendship — it is in times like these, as we witness a state coming together as a whole to pay it forward that we truly realize the meaning behind that motto.
Mosquito Squad of Delaware & Chester Counties also wants to acknowledge the impact of Hurricane Irma on Florida and Puerto Rico, as well as the most recent Hurricane Maria. Know that our continued prayers and support are with all affected in these areas as well.