Regional Planning

Regional Planning

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

Combined River Basin Flood Studies
The GLO launched the Combined River Basin Flood Studies in the 49 counties which received a presidential disaster declaration due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey plus 4 counties in the Lower Rio Grande Valley that received a presidential declaration for flooding in 2015. The studies aim to increase resiliency by helping communities prioritize effective mitigation strategies and pursue additional implementation funds.

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

  • 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.

    Start Date: February 2020, Completed: May 2021 
  • 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

  • Hurricane Harvey Housing Impacts: 49-County Survey Top-Line Findings 
    This study surveyed the general population to determine housing needs among residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. The results helped determine the most appropriate housing programs, allocation amounts, and methods of communication based on regional need.

  • Regional Drainage Data Collection and Oversight
    This study gathered and organized data focusing on regional oversight and the coordination of the drainage infrastructure in Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, Tyler, Polk, Liberty, and Chambers counties. After the data was analyzed, recommendations were made to local community leaders.

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 (Community Health and Resource Management) 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
  • Developing Environmental Responses and Models for Catastrophic Flooding Events – This is an environmental study to monitor the impact of flooding on the environment through the analysis of soil samples.

    Start Date: June 2020 

  • Flood Plain Management Services – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) shall perform the necessary flood plain management services necessary to assist the GLO in fulfilling its duty to administer the four Flood Studies within Combined River Basins studies as well as other interagency projects.
    Start date: July 2020 

  • Project Management Services – Provider shall perform the comprehensive project management services necessary to assist the GLO in fulfilling its duty to administer the four Flood Studies within Combined River Basins studies.
    Start date: February 2021

  • Texas Integrated Flood Framework (TIFF) – The GLO is actively coordinating with USACE/USGS/TWDB to ensure flood planning efforts are not duplicated. Through the establishment of intergovernmental workgroups, this grant seeks to standardize data sharing, flood modeling, and planning activities. TWDB is the grant recipient and the lead agency for completing this work.
    Start date: November 2020

  • 2023 Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan – This funding will support the 2023 installment of the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan, and will provide a vision to protect coastal communities, infrastructure, and ecological assets from coastal hazards.
    Start date: June 2021

Proposed Studies

  • An Analysis of CDBG-DR Beneficiaries – This study will review the GLO Community Development and Revitalization (GLO-CDR) Program's efforts as they relate to serving beneficiaries.
    Start date:  TBD
  • Resilient Housing Study  – This study will evaluate the resilience of HAP homes that have been subjected to multiple disasters through a random sampling and analysis. The study will have three phases: first establish a statewide zoning resource, second capture the long-term beneficiary experience, and finally develop educational materials on the recovery process and resilient home maintenance.
    Start date:  TBD