our top priority in the face of Hurricane Harvey
Repsol activated the Business Continuity
Plan in Houston to ensure the safety
of its employees and assets
in the United States
In late August 2017, the States of Texas and Louisiana suffered the wrath of Hurricane Harvey, the worst storm to strike the United States in a decade. It caused severe flooding, with over 30,000 people having to flee their homes and reported losses of $200 billion.
Due to the gravity of the situation, Repsol decided to close its U.S. corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas, for a week and activate its Business Continuity Plan. The aim of this plan is to guarantee that operations continue and ensure the safety of our 300-plus employees.
No employees were hurt during the hurricane, however one family's home was flooded and the company provided them with a temporary apartment while the necessary repairs were being made.
Once the plan was activated, the first step was to activate the “emergency group”, which consists of over 30 representatives from the corporate areas and businesses who were key to ensuring the continuity of our activities due to their different profiles and roles.
The members of this group traveled to the remote emergency center that is set up for this type of situation, consisting of an office in northern Houston where they continued managing all systems and processes, as well as giving personal support to employees.
A few days before the hurricane arrived, the company distributed forms to employees asking them to provide some practical information, including their cell phone number and the address where they would be staying over the coming days. With this information, the emergency group was able to keep in permanent contact to keep them updated on the situation at the offices and give them safety advice.
During that time, Repsol asked its employees to stay at home and not to come to work under any circumstances due to the dangerous road conditions.
One of the key reasons the plan worked so well was the training undertaken by the emergency group. For months, members of the group met regularly to carry out hurricane drills, running through the procedures to be activated.
“Because we prepared ourselves in the event of a hurricane, we were able to successfully manage the situation when a real one like Harvey hit”, explains Mariano Ferrari, director of the United States Business Unit. For him, the main goal was to keep employees safe and make them feel part of a company that cares for them.