An Early Assessment of Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on Vulnerable Texans in the Gulf Coast Region: Their Voices and Priorities to Inform Rebuilding Efforts
Overall, the survey and focus group results provide an early snapshot of the biggest challenges facing vulnerable Texas Gulf Coast residents three months after Hurricane Harvey cut its wide swath across the region. With about half of affected individuals saying they are not getting the help they need to recover from the storm, residents prioritize basic needs like repairing damaged homes, help finding temporary and permanent shelter, and financial assistance to help affected individuals get back on their feet. The results also suggest that there is ongoing confusion about the different ways to get financial assistance, and that many affected residents could benefit from navigators or other resources to help with the application process. Finally, these results demonstrate that lower-income individuals, Black and Hispanic residents, and those living in the Golden Triangle area were particularly hard-hit by the effects of Harvey and continue to lag in the recovery, suggesting that organizations focused on recovery should keep a focus on these communities as they move forward from short-term to long-term recovery efforts.