On paper, evacuating from a major storm makes sense. You quickly pack up necessities, grab all the medication you need, make sure your families together, load up the car and head out. In reality, a mass evacuation is never that orderly. Such is the case when hurricane Harvey slammed into Houston. Although many people understood the warning, they didn’t have the means to evacuate. Plus, the level of flooding was simply overwhelming. It is going to take months if not years for Houston to make a full recovery. In the meantime there are thousands of displaced residents all in search of a dry place they can keep their family safe. For over 300 evacuees that refuge came in the most unlikely of shelters: the gallery furniture store owned by Jim “Mattress Mack” mcingvale. He’s one of the first heroes to emerge in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey but he certainly won’t be the last.
Mattress Mack is known throughout Houston for his zany commercials and his generosity. As the storm was bearing down Mack and his team headed out in their delivery trucks.
“All day on Sunday we went around rescuing people out of high water stranded on overpasses. We brought about 200 people into the store that way,” McIngvale told CNN recently. Other evacuees were dropped off by boat when friends posted messages on social media away to waistcoat them.
The evacuees have the pick of hundreds of brand-new sofas to lounge on and for as long as they want. To supplement the showroom beds, inflatable mattresses have been in set up throughout the store and an indoor playground was pull together for the kids. Along with the evacuees you might also find national guard troops resting in between shifts.
Upon arrival to the showroom, evacuees are given dry clothes, toothbrushes, soap, shoes and, of course, a mattress still covered in plastic. McIngvale is also paying for portable showers so everyone can clean up. All who are gathered under the roof of the store are is moved by store owner’s generosity and his team of dedicated volunteers.
Many other businesses will be springing into the recovery effort as soon as the waters start to recede. Junk King Houston is standing by to help with storm cleanup. No doubt there crews will be working around the clock to get Houston back to the way it was as quickly as possible.