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Planning Studies

Planning Studies

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 by utilizing CDBG-DR and CDBG-MIT funds as well as other funding sources to minimize the impact of future disasters.

CDBG-DR Planning Studies Summary


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 work with subject matter experts across the country to provide communities with the best possible resources in data analytics, storm modeling, and resiliency planning.

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 to 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
Preliminary Report

Enhanced State Hazard Mitigation Plan 
The GLO is partnering with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to provide CDBG-MIT funds for the development of an enhanced State of Texas Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan makes a state eligible for assistance up to 20 percent for estimated aggregate amounts of a disaster, compared with 15 percent for states without an enhanced SHMP. The enhanced state hazard mitigation plan should serve as the framework for the local hazard mitigation plans within that state.
Start Date: May 2021 

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 

Lower Rio Grande Valley Economic Development Study
This study will develop strategies to expand the economy of three counties in the Valley impacted by 2019 Floods to make them more resilient to future economic impacts while recovering.
Start Date: June 2022

Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) Flood Study
A regional flood study, encompassing Hidalgo, Willacy, Cameron, and Starr Counties, that mirrors the ongoing Flood Studies within Combined River Basins study.
Start Date: February 2022

Overview of Program Requirements to Assist CDBG-DR Beneficiaries
This study will review the GLO’s efforts as they relate to serving beneficiaries.  
Start Date: July 2021

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

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: April 2022

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

Alternative Housing – Implementation and Testing
The purpose of this Study is to build and test four (4) alternative housing options to determine if there are innovative solutions for accommodating disaster survivors, including LMI, that are cost-effective, safe, secure, and allow for faster construction.
Start Date: TBD 

Developing Environmental Responses and Models for Catastrophic Flooding Events-Phase 2  
The purpose of the second phase is to propose ways of alleviating the persistent environmental and health impacts of catastrophic flooding in Jefferson County, using the strategy developed from the study conducted on the Dickinson Bayou watershed during Phase 1.
Start Date: TBD 

Green Infrastructure for Texas
This study will provide nature-based solutions to stormwater management. Through outreach, coalition-building, education, and on-the-ground projects, this grant seeks to stimulate communities to implement green infrastructure projects at any scale.  
Start Date: TBD

Lower Rio Grande Valley Transportation Study
This study will evaluate how city populations located in low tide sections of towns in three counties in the Valley can evacuate on foot to shelters during high rainfall events so that first responders can focus on other issues.  
Start Date: TBD

North Central Texas COG Study
This forward-thinking study will look to dissolve silos and improve delivery of consolidated, adaptive infrastructure before expected population growth makes addressing these issues more difficult and costly. The focus of the study is on (1) Transportation Infrastructure and Safety, (2) Stormwater Runoff, and (3) Environmental Features and Tools. 
Start Date: TBD

Regional CHARM Enhancements
To provide better service for vulnerable regions, we are working with AgriLife to enhance existing CHARM capabilities to provide regional planning and coordination capabilities. This will require super-computing capabilities and large-scale stakeholder engagement for the Valley and East Texas communities affected by the 2018 & 2019 disasters.  
Start Date: TBD

Developing Effective Flood Risk Communication Tools for Texas Communities
We are leveraging the Measuring, Mapping, and Managing Flood Risk study completed by Texas A&M to expand the disaster plain to the mitigation area and further refine disaster risk communication tools for communities to use.  
Start Date: TBD