For the good people in Texas, Florida and other areas of the South impacted by the onslaught of wind and water from hurricanes Harvey and Irma — their lives will never be the same. Even for those who have the will and the resources to rebuild and repair, they have lived through one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit this country, and will be changed just the same.

As I write this, the news channels are all filled around the clock with stories of the pain and struggle as well as the rescues and outreach of folks from all over the country to help our neighbors in distress. Social media is blowing up with requests for contributions to the many agencies on the scene taking care of the immediate needs of the victims. And the millions are pouring in.

By the time this column is published and delivered to you in early October, the news will have moved on. It will be interesting to see if social media is still as active on the topics of Harvey and Irma. I suspect this will be but one of the technological advances that will make a difference between Harvey and Irma and the only events I can recall that comes close to comparing: hurricanes Andrew (1992) and Katrina (2005).

At times like this, those of us not directly impacted by the storm must sort through a lot of information to determine the best way to help. Where do you send your donation and when or how can you step in and lend a hand? Tough questions, but one thing is for sure: for years after the 2017 hurricane season is no longer the darling of the media, there will be folks still struggling to put their homes, businesses, and lives back together.

I cannot add much to the dialog that has taken place up to this point. I do not have anything of great substance to add. I simply want to remind you of a couple of things.

Be proud of the roofing industry and especially your brothers and sisters in the states struck by Harvey and Irma. Be proud of the way the industry responds when their neighbors are in harm’s way or in need of assistance after a natural disaster. Every day I read another story of one roofing contractor or another stepping up with hands-on help or cash.

There have been too many instances of charity from contractors, distributors, manufacturers, and others “over and above the call of duty” to list here. We have been reporting on them since Harvey hit (you can see our reporting online here). I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart because it makes me proud just to be associated with you. And it inspires me to step up and do my part.

Also, I want to remind you of just how important the work you do as a roofing contractor really is. It is not just a job or a business, it is providing shelter; a basic human need without which none of us would last very long. I do not take my shelter for granted, and I promise you that anyone who lost their home to Harvey or Irma does not either.

So let the rebuilding begin. This is going to be a very, very long process.