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Stories From Houston’s Hurricane Harvey

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast features voices from convenience retailers who weathered the August storm.
November 21, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season produced some record-setting storms from which some areas attempt to recover. Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August and the area continues to contend with destruction caused by floodwater.

Convenience Matters hosts Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives and Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, talked about what it was like for retailers in the path of the storm.

This week’s podcast “Stories from Houston’s Hurricane Harvey” features guests Jesus Azanza, director of communications & marketing at the Texas Food & Fuel Association (TFFA), and Elias Sarkis, president of retailer Tri-Con Inc. based in Beaumont, Texas.

Azanza and his colleagues at TFFA worked tirelessly with federal, state and local officials to communicate real-time preparation necessities, storm situations and recovery efforts in order to keep Texas retail members updated, safe and open. Sarkis had several stations under water in Texas and details in the podcast how he helped employees, their families and neighbors weather the storm and how several stations are still working to become operational again.

“When a pump gets submerged in under many feet of water, you can’t put an entire gas pump in a bag of rice like a smartphone and hope it isn’t damaged,” said Lenard in relation to store recovery efforts because of Houston’s flooding.

In June, NACS partnered with the Red Cross to help facilitate donation collections to those in need. Visit to learn other ways to prepare and help those in need. As reported by NACS President and CEO Henry Armour at the NACS Show, the American Red Cross received more than $15 million in donations from members of the convenience industry in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Check out the feature story next month in December’s NACS Magazine for more on the industry’s response to the devastating 2017 hurricanes.

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners in more than 85 countries more than 31,000 times.