There is no question that natural disasters will hit Texas again. We hope Mother Nature will keep the peace, but we can reasonably expect more hurricanes, more fires, more tornadoes.
The real question is: Will we be ready?
Texas wasn’t after Hurricane Rita in 2005, or Ike and Dolly in 2008, or Harvey in 2017. Each recovery process has been a slog, fraught with inequality and uncertainty. And it happens over and over, this slow-motion Groundhog Day.
A bill proposed in the Texas Legislature this session, Senate Bill 289, could be a step in the right direction in avoiding this phenomenon by helping local jurisdictions plan for the worst and shorten the years-long recovery periods.
In episode 3 of the Texas Housers podcast, A Little Louder, Texas Housers co-director John Henneberger and I talk about what SB289 could do for Texans forced to wait years for recovery help, like one Houston resident, Deetra Harris. We also talk to a few of the experts who helped develop a pilot program for what a “precovery” plan – planning for recovery long before the disaster strikes – could be and how it worked in the Rio Grande Valley.