Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Steve Harris of Krisis Protection Is Helping To Change Our World

Posted on

Leadership is about driving positive change and action wherever you are — and they don’t need a title. Building and growing more leaders within your circle, leading by example, transparency, trust, confidence, humility, and creativity are all important attributes to being a strong and positive leader.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Harris, CEO of Krisis Protection.

Steve Harris is the CEO of Krisis Protection, an innovative start-up at the forefront of flood disaster protection for indoor home contents & business assets that has created an internationally certified watertight Flood Bag — Dry Bag. He is a natural leader with a proven and consistent history of success. Steve has 20 years of experience across a range of industries including business change management, account management, program planning and delivery, branch management, sales management, and service management.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was emotionally moved from a news story on TV showing the financial and emotional impact a family went through after their home got flooded, leaving all their contents totally ruined and house in need of some serious rebuilding. A light bulb went off — why is there not a bag that people could put all of their home and business contents into, pack it up, zip it closed and leave it until the water went? The savings for end user to Insurers and Governments would be huge.

And so, the three-year journey began in the research and development stages of Krisis Flood Bags.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

We researched many manufacturing companies abroad before deciding who we would partner with. Once we secured a partner, we designed our first trial Krisis Flood Bags. When we received the package, I was very excited to trial and test it under water.

I opened the package and found the two Krisis Flood Bags I ordered did not have a bottom, and we needed to work that one out! For anyone else, it would have been easy to give up there, yet I was determined to try again.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

We had a fully aluminum trailer made up to hold KFBs (Krisis Flood Bags) and travel to many States in Australia that have extreme flood prone areas. The trailer was powder coated orange like our bags, and looked very similar to the Super Krisis Flood Bag. I took the trailer to get sign written and get a zipper attached to the trailer, and when I went to pick it up, I got distracted by someone wanting to take photos. After talking, I jumped into my vehicle and drove off without properly attaching the trailer. When I was just turning out of the driveway, the trailer popped off the bull bar and as I pulled to the left, it started slowly moving down the road.

Jumping out, I managed to stop it before any damage was done. This was the start of our 8-week journey, putting Krisis Flood Bags into homes, and that nearly became a disaster before we began. The lesson here is measure twice and cut once. Getting distracted almost cost me an accident, so stopping to think if everything is in check before proceeding can save a lot of time and money down the road.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

We are living in biblical times. Disasters are greater and stronger, and costing many lives and heartaches for millions of families per year.

Our Krisis Flood Bags will save millions of homes and businesses contents from getting water damaged from the floods that are now a regular event. The cost to homes and businesses, insurers payouts driving up premiums, and the government having to get rid of the rubbish contents from floods can now all be significantly reduced.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

During an 8-week trip from Brisbane to Townsville to put Krisis Flood Bags into flood area homes, I came across a lady who had received my number from someone who we had met on our travels. She had no money and had lost her rented home in a flood. Her husband’s tools for work were ruined and everything in the home was lost. She was currently staying on the couches of a friends, and knowing she never wanted to go through this again, she phoned me in tears begging to have a Krisis Flood Bag to protect her home contents.

The part of the story that really stuck with me was that, as a result of the flood, all of her pet birds had drowned, and she, her 8-year-old son and husband had to get themselves into the ceiling from the height of the water to escape it. Once they were in the ceiling the water kept rising and they couldn’t get through the roof iron, so they themselves were in a position of thinking they were about to drown. They heard some rescue people in a boat that managed to assist and take the top iron roofing off of the home and thankfully, all three escaped.

This lady was so grateful and in tears at our offering her two Krisis Flood Bags in the event of her going through this again. Knowing we helped her family pushes me in the mission to help families across the globe to ensure everyone is prepared in case of these horrible floods.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

  1. Australian Government & politicians can invest in flood preparedness programs by partnering and investing with Krisis Flood Bags. The National Emergency Management Agency should also increase disaster funding to ensure it is fit to include the Krisis Flood Bag as part of the flood disaster risk reduction preparedness and resilience national system.
  2. Insurance companies can offer a rebate on their flood insurance policy when people who live in a flood zone invest in a Krisis Flood Bag from 2023.
  3. We can form a partnership with the Australian Resilience communities such as the Minderoo Foundation, philanthropic organizations, and charities to help shift from being reactive to being prepared to make our communities resilient to the devastation and heartbreak caused by these severe weather flooding disasters.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership is about driving positive change and action wherever you are — and they don’t need a title.

Building and growing more leaders within your circle, leading by example, transparency, trust, confidence, humility, and creativity are all important attributes to being a strong and positive leader.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Mindset is the foundation for everything in life.
  2. Don’t make it about you.
  3. Embrace the numbers.
  4. Once you identify a problem, do not tolerate it.
  5. Focus on “what is” before deciding on what to do about it.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

We are on a mission — we see the future — where your home and business contents are protected from flood water damage with Krisis Flood Bags. We want to shift the focus from recovery to resilience. From reaction to preparedness. We believe this is critical to future-proof our lives, globally.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Be the change you want to see if the world.” — Mahatma Gandi.

If you want to change the world, YOU must be the change. It can often be hard to make a difference, but it is so beyond worth it.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them.

There are so many business leaders who inspire me and who I would love the chance to connect with over a meal. Just to name just a few…

Gina Rineheart (Australia)

Warren Buffett (USA)

Melinda Gates (USA)

Amanda Blanc Aviva (UK)

Richard Branson (UK)

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Instagram: @krisis_bags_us

Twitter: @KrisisBags

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Steve Harris of Krisis Protection Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.