Updated: Apr 12
We dodged a bullet here in Houston with Hurricanes Marco and Laura. Twin terrors in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time…Yikes! Though the storms missed us by less than 100 miles, I’m sad to say our relatives in Lake Charles, Louisiana took a direct hit. My cousin Jon and his family evacuated to Texas for a few days. We got to spend some time with them before they headed home to assess the damage. Getting home was a chore in and of itself with all of the roadblocks, re-routes, and down power lines. What usually is a 2-hour drive home, ended up taking them over 10 hours. Nevertheless, the damage to their neighborhood was catastrophic.
Fences were down, trees were down, rooftops were blown into the streets, broken glass, and a ton of debris was all they could see for miles. Many lives were completely turned upside down by this horrific category 4 storm.
Jon's fence and his truck were destroyed, when a gigantic tree from his neighbor’s yard plowed into his carport crushing his brand new F-150. Thank God he had insurance. Luckily, no one was hurt. It’s moments like this you really see the value of human life and understand that material things can always be replaced. The photos Jon sent of his home left Mark and I speechless. 150 mph winds completely ripped the siding off of his house, blew out windows in his kitchen, and sent his patio furniture crashing into his neighbor’s living room. To our surprise, Jon had solar panels on his home. He neglected to mention he decided to go green last year.
We couldn’t believe his solar system was able to withstand hurricane-force winds and still power his home after such a massive storm.
Sadly, his neighbors were without power for weeks and were forced to stay in shelters and hotels in the middle of a pandemic. Jon and his family were able to return home and already starting the rebuilding process.
We drove to Lake Charles with a small group from my church to pass out supplies and help in whatever way we can. After spending hours in the blistering heat, it was nice to go to Jon’s house, take a hot shower, and enjoy the air conditioning. We also got to experience what it would be like to live in an energy independent home. I must say, it was awesome! Jon’s house was fully powered and fully functional except for the fact he was leaving no carbon footprint and helping mother earth.
Mark with his inquisitive nature began to ask Jon about his system and why he decided to go green. Jon showed Mark electric bills that were less than $10, plus a few refund checks. Since Jon got his solar system installed in 2019, he received a 30% tax credit which he was still excited about. Jon has a big family so saving money was his main reason for making the switch to renewable energy. Mark was intrigued and seem to be soaking it all in.
On our way back to Houston, Mark asked me to set up a meeting with Sean at IntegrateSun. Sean didn’t even have to sell the system; the system sold itself because Mark had already seen the benefit. The impact and disruption Hurricane Laura made in the lives of the residents of Louisiana was a heartbreaking and painful reminder of our past. We lost everything in Hurricane Katrina and we were without power for days after Hurricane Harvey. Never again did we want to be in the path of a storm unprepared.
Witnessing the peace and level of normalcy Jon experienced because of his investment in solar, sealed the deal for both Mark and Sean. Mark didn’t put up a fuss. We got approved for the loan, signed the contract with IntegrateSun without hesitation and now we are ready for installation!
Sean texted me the next day and said, “I thought Mark was going to be my toughest sell, what happened”? I replied, “Laura happened and I think you owe her a portion of your commission”! We laughed and gave each other a virtual high five and I’ve been smiling ever since. I’m as happy as a kid on Christmas Day because my husband has seen the light and we’ve somehow found our pathway to the sun!
Write a comment below and let us start an interesting conversation together as I journal how I went from being a solar misfit to a solar socialite in a short period of time. Stay tuned as we continue to find our pathway to the sun