A Week of Wild Weather: Two Employees Recount Their Experiences

A week of wild weather:

Two employees recount their experiences


March 3, 2021

By Melissa Brandon, Director, Communications

This period may be best described as sui generis – a Latin term that means “nothing like it.” It’s an apt description for yet another remarkable event as significant winter weather swept across Texas and Oklahoma freezing over roads, bursting water pipes and brining schools, and hindering work and communities, bringing many to a standstill. 

With both Schwab and TDA employing greater than 6,000 people across the two states, many employees (and clients) were impacted by the storms. Here are two of their experiences.

Kristy and Sean teaser

  • Southlake, TX

    Kristy A.

    This experience hit close to home for Kristy and her family.
    Read her story >

  • Austin, TX

    Sean C.

    It was a circus tent of anxieties and contingency plans.
    Read his story >



Tell me about your weather experience?

Sean: It was a circus tent of anxieties and contingency plans. My household consists of my wife, her mother and our dog and two cats. We were trying to ration supplies as we had no heat, water or cell service for about four days.

You said this was a character-building experience. Tell me more about that.

Sean: At first, it feels like a hardship to have your modern comforts taken – but in no time flat your definition of hardship shifts dramatically. It was a humbling reminder.

What specific lessons did you learn?

Sean: To remember what you can control and what you can’t. And to focus your energy on what you can control. I think it really helps to feel like you’re taking action even if you can’t change the circumstances.

How was the firm able to support you?

Sean: Whether it was email updates, well-wishes from colleagues or direct work support from my team, I felt very seen and supported throughout. There was nothing but understanding from Schwab.



This experience hit close to home for you and your day job.

Kristy: I work as the Safety and Health Manager at TDA and although most of my time is spent on Covid-19 these days, this felt like something close to my professional expertise. We were without power for more than 72 hours and had to use melted snow to do basic things like flush the toilet. We spent two nights huddled up in cars with neighbors just trying to stay warm. The third night we drove two hours to a warming shelter.

You were able to provide a lot of support to your neighbors?

Kristy: I think it’s important to note how much my neighborhood came together. We had to call 911 for a group of my neighbors because they tried to use a grill inside the garage to heat their home and we were concerned about carbon-monoxide poisoning. Others tore down fence boards to burn to help boil water.

How was the firm able to support you during this time?

Kristy: When I finally got power, I was able to check my work voicemail and it was filled with phone calls from my fellow associates wanting to make sure I was okay. Those messages meant the world to me after what we had just been through.