I'm the Operations Manager at the Ozarka facility in Hawkins, Texas and for three months we had no operations going on. The operations group really makes up the majority of the facility personnel. So first priority was ensuring job security. Our executive team and HR team really came through. And we were able to find work for every full-time Ozarka employee so nobody went without a full paycheck during the entire recovery.
Everybody took on some kind of different role whether it be safety, observation, security, all the way down to managing contract groups. Part of what we all did was bring water out for the local fire department to hand out to people who had property loss. We also donated 3 or 4 pallets at a school in Lindale that had been impacted by the tornado. It was actually my son's school. I was proud of him, he helped out and stayed there until the last case was loaded into a car.
I learned a lot. I got to work outside of my comfort zone for a long amount of time by doing some things that I probably wouldn't have gotten to do in just a normal setting for operations. I'm most grateful that as disruptive as this tornado was that there was nobody at the facility or the community that was seriously injured. And we've maintained that throughout the construction and the rebuilding of the facility.
I enjoy the camaraderie working here. The culture at this facility is very strong and this made us even stronger. You know, working in some tight spaces, doing some odd tasks, next to people that we wouldn't necessarily work with on a day-to-day basis. I think that's probably what's going to be the lasting effect of this. And we should come back even stronger.