Houston retailer becomes home base for Harvey first responders
Academy Sports and Outdoors has hosted more than 400 responders who have traveled from all over the country to help victims in need
By FireRescue1 Staff
HOUSTON — A sporting goods retailer has opened its doors for first responders who have traveled from all over the country to aid Hurricane Harvey victims.
Wall Street Journal reported that Academy Sports and Outdoors hosted more than 400 first responders from all over the country in Houston, as well as Academy employees who have been flooded out of their homes.
“This was as democratic a catastrophe as could possibly be. It didn’t pick one part of town,” Academy CEO J.K. Symancyk said. He and his family are among the employees taking shelter at the store.
The four-story headquarters has gyms for sleeping, as well as places to shower.
Academy has also helped out with supplies for responders rescuing stranded individuals. They have opened the doors of closed stores so responders could grab things like kayaks, ponchos and pontoon boats.
For the evacuees on land, Academy provided air beds, backpacks, T-shirts, socks, shoes, underwear and more.
To open more space, Academy made its distribution center available after the governor’s office requested the National Guard take shelter at Academy as well.
Currently, Academy is determining where to donate $1 million of clothes and shoes.
“We’re trying to balance where it can be most useful in the here and now,” Symancyk said.