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Hurricane Harvey - Local, Regional & State Planning

Due to the scale of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Texas and the re-occurrence of natural disasters in Harvey-affected regions, the GLO will concentrate on regional approaches in addition to specific local solutions to promote sound long-term recovery.

In addition to enhancing the state’s Disaster Recovery and Response Plan, the GLO has committed to the purposes of planning in the areas that received a received a presidential disaster declaration resulting from Hurricane Harvey, and the completion of some of the projects identified as a result of the studies. Because of the vast nature of the current disaster and the recurring nature of disasters in the region, the GLO will concentrate on regional approaches, in addition to specific local solutions, to promote sound long-term recovery. To provide an efficient and effective method of selecting and executing planning studies following Hurricane Harvey, the GLO will work with Texas universities and vendors to conduct studies with CDBG-DR funds. The GLO utilized a local community survey process that included public meetings, requests for information, listening sessions, and written surveys, to better determine the specific needs for planning studies. From Saturday, July 14 to Friday, September 14, 2018, an online survey was available for elected officials representing areas that received a presidential disaster declaration from Hurricane Harvey to submit their planning needs. The GLO is currently in the process of compiling a list of study needs in the impacted area. Opportunities for regionalization will be considered, and through a formal RFP process, the GLO will work with the Texas universities and vendors to identify qualified experts for specific tasks identified. This process and the availability of planning funds will standardize methods through regional coordination and planning at a level that has not yet been achieved through CDBG-DR funds in Texas.

Local Planning

Through CDBG-DR fund administration, the GLO continues to work with communities to conduct local planning efforts following disasters. These important studies, ranging from drainage to economic development, have allowed communities to make informed decisions throughout the long-term recovery process and better prepare for future disasters. The GLO is committed to working with impacted communities to ensure that we collectively rebuild our state smarter and more resilient.

Regional Planning

The GLO has conducted many large-scale studies in disaster-impacted areas to assist communities in their planning efforts. These studies have largely covered infrastructure needs, including the Texas Coastal Infrastructure Study and the Storm Surge Suppression Study. These studies, along with additional studies conducted by the GLO's Coastal Protection Division, have provided an advanced approach to recovery that will better mitigate future disaster damages.

Examples of Past Regional Planning Studies:

  • Storm Surge Suppression Study: The Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District (GCCPRD) investigates the options to reduce the vulnerability from hurricane surge and flood damages in accordance with the standards of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Coastal Resiliency Study: Identifies physical elements including infrastructure and natural resources to determine the effectiveness of past recovery projects along the coast.

Ongoing Studies

  • Hurricane Impact Study – Texas A&M Galveston: This study will provide an in-depth analysis of the national economic impact and the ripple effect that occurs when trade and other critical economic drivers are disrupted by hurricanes hitting the Texas Coast. 
  • Disaster Impact Visualization Study – The University of Texas – Center for Space Research: Through the partnership with the Center for Space Research, the GLO continues to build real-time visualizations of critical disaster data including the Public MOVES Viewer, displaying historical satellite imagery from Hurricane Harvey and other events, giving communities the ability to observe the events and make more informed planning decisions. 
  • Disaster Economic Impact Study – The University of Texas – McCombs School of Business: The GLO partnered with the McCombs School of Business to run analysis for the Hurricane Harvey Action Plan's Needs Assessment. This has lead to further analysis regarding the common effects of disasters and the ability to standardize the economic impact of disasters at a national level.