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Using planning funds, the GLO has and will continue to concentrate efforts on regionally minded studies in coordination with local communities.

These studies help vet projects and provide high-level planning, affecting Texans at the local and the regional level. Our goal is for these studies to be used for long-term planning and utilize CDBG-DR funds and other funding sources to minimize the impact of future disasters.

Harvey-Related Planning Initiative

In 2017, the GLO began an initiative to partner with state and federal agencies, engineering providers and universities to conduct various regional studies looking back at prior disasters, as well as looking forward at how to better prepare for future disasters. Through these partnerships, the GLO is able to work with subject matter experts across the country to provide communities with the best possible resources in data analytics, storm modeling and resiliency planning. As a result of Hurricane Harvey, the GLO will be able to expand its work to provide further innovation to the recovery process.

Current Study

  • Economic Development Strategy & Diversification Study
    The GLO is conducting a 15-month study to bring together nine neighboring counties impacted by Hurricane Harvey - Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, Goliad, Jim Wells, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, and Victoria - to build an inventory of the economic assets and deficiencies within the study area, provide economic development strategies, and develop an action plan for creating a diverse and resilient economic base. The study aims to help the counties grow jobs, and help residents prosper and remain sustainable through future economic downturns.
    • Community Input Opportunity - Final Study Survey
      The survey welcomes input from everyone in the nine-county area, including: business, government, education, or economic development professionals, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and residents of the nine counties. Please take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TexasEconomicStudyIII

Local Planning

Through CDBG-DR funds, the GLO has worked with communities to conduct local planning efforts following past disasters. These studies, ranging from drainage to economic development, have allowed communities to make informed decisions throughout the long-term recovery process and be better prepared for the next disaster. The GLO is committed to working with impacted communities on plans to ensure that we are not only rebuilding our state but doing so smarter and more resilient.

Regional Planning

The GLO has conducted a number of 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 a realistic approach to recovery that will mitigate damages from future disasters.

Completed Studies

  • Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District (GCCPRD)
    The GLO entered into an agreement with the GCCPRD to develop a storm surge suppression study in accordance with the standards of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The study area consisted of the coastal areas around Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, and Orange counties that could be impacted by future storm events.  The study investigated options for reducing the vulnerability of the upper Texas coast to hurricane surge and flood damages. 
    Start Date: 2013, Completed: December 2018
    Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District Website
  • Texas Coastal Resiliency Study
    The Texas Coastal Resiliency Study included data gathering, analysis, and a summary recommendation for implementation for the GLO regarding the resiliency of the Texas coast. The study identified physical elements, including infrastructure and natural resources, which helped to determine the effectiveness of past recovery projects along the Texas coast and assessed vulnerability of existing infrastructure. A list of recommended projects to best improve overall resiliency of the Texas coast, with an emphasis on CDBG-DR eligibility, was compiled.
    Start Date: October 2013, Completed: March 2016
    Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan
  • Evaluating the Effects of a Coastal Spine: National Level Economic Ripple Effects of Storm Surge Events
    The GLO utilized remaining Hurricane Ike funds to commission a study that comprehensively assessed a coastal storm survey suppression system (also known as the coastal spine) proposed as a mitigation strategy. The report presents the results of a nationwide economic study of storm surge impacts along Galveston Bay and explores how direct impacts on a specific sector(s) in the bay communities affects the economy of Texas as well as other states and the nation as a whole in the long-term, while capturing general equilibrium and multiplier effects. 
    Start date: September 2017; Completion date: May 2019 
    Evaluating the Effects of a Coastal Spine: National-Level Economic Ripple Effects of Storm Surge Events
  • Disaster Economic Impact Study
    The GLO contracted with The University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business to run analysis for the Hurricane Harvey Action Plan's Needs Assessment. This led to further analysis regarding the common effects of disasters and the ability to standardize the economic impact of disasters at a national level. 
    Start date: September 2017; Completion date: May 2018
  • Disaster Impact Visualization Study
    Through a contract with the University of Texas’ Center for Space Research, the GLO built real-time visualizations of critical disaster data, including the Public MOVES Viewer, which displays historical satellite imagery from Hurricane Harvey and other disaster events, and gives communities the ability to observe events and make informed planning decisions. 
    Start date: March 2018; Completion date: August 2019

Ongoing Studies

  • Measuring, Mapping, and Managing Flood Risk
    A Pilot Program in Texas – Through an interagency agreement, the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) is conducting a comprehensive planning study to measure, map, model, and visually present data recorded during historical flood events across Texas and recommend techniques to mitigate future hazards and risks of flooding in targeted regions of Texas affected by the 2016 Floods. To complete the project, TAMUS will utilize funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) via the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) through a collaborative partnership with NASEM to conduct community outreach.
    Start date: January 2019
  • CHARM Platform Development  The CHARM software is currently bolstering local planning efforts by running scenario planning workshops with local communities. FEMA is funding the resiliency workshops through CHARM, and the GLO is proposing to leverage existing software and make it more readily available. With several technology updates, the CHARM platform will be developing online data deliverables for use by the communities. The GLO is also proposing to continue to fund multi-day technical training sessions to further build planning competence at the local level. When integrated with the disaster database project, this enhancement would provide local communities with the information, tools, and technical expertise to make informed planning decisions.  
    Start Date:  August 2020