The spring of 2021 saw a historic snowstorm impact Texas and other surrounding states. It brought fear and widespread damage to many Texas communities. Residents scrambled to manage power outages, burst pipes, limited grocery store supplies, and other interruptions to their normal lives. Exceptionally low temperatures also put many residents as risk from cold exposure. Helping Texans through this disaster was BCFS Health and Human Services, a nonprofit leader in emergency management and response. The organization is based in Texas and was tasked to help residents and its own staff members to survive the storm and rebound quickly.
The organization’s work extended throughout the state. It worked in San Antonio to help residents combat the cold with medical services, blankets, and other supplies provided through a warming center. It also delivered hundreds of pallets of water to the San Antonio Food Bank and other location organizations to help with limited or interruption municipal water supply issues. BCFS Health and Human Services also provided generators and other support to its various residential services locations throughout Texas. These facilities were already prepared for disasters with ample food and water, but they required electricity in order to care for the youth under their supervision. Many BCFS Health and Human Services staff put in extra hours and worked outside their job descriptions to ensure a certain quality of care.
The organization helped the Breckenridge Village of Tyler (BVT), a nonprofit that provides adult residential care for people with disabilities. The facility lost power due to the storm, and its management team realized it needed to evacuate residents to a warmer facility. It turned to BCFS Health and Human Services for support in the form of emergency generators and setting up a temporary response center within the facility’s chapel until the storm was over and temperatures increased.
Icy road conditions in rural southern Texas counties prompted the organization’s educational services division to respond to various issues such as power outage problems, and widespread flooding that affected facilities including the Red River Center. The organization saw some hopeful moments during this time, including a parishioner that fixed leaks for free, and a plumber that repaired pipes late into the night. The organization’s staff also worked tirelessly throughout this period, many without access to reliable water or power.