Hurricane Harvey

When Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas’ Gulf Coast in August 2017, it quickly became one of the nation’s costliest natural disasters, with damages totaling $200 billion. Texas hospitals’ response before, during and after was comprehensive and wide ranging. Ultimately, only 20 Texas hospitals closed or evacuated as a result of the storm, but the financial impact and toll of physical damage will continue as the state rebuilds. The Texas Hospital Association is tracking the legislature’s efforts to:

  • Examine the use of federal funds by state agencies responding to the effects of Hurricane Harvey and identify opportunities to maximize the use of federal funds to reduce the impact of future natural disasters. Also, identify the need for state resources to respond to Harvey relief and recovery efforts, as well as opportunities for state investment in infrastructure projects that will reduce the impact of future natural disasters. House Committee on Appropriations
  • Review the impact of Hurricane Harvey on state and local taxes. Examine the need for and the feasibility of requiring reappraisal of all property affected by large-scale disasters such as Harvey. Identify improvements to the tax-rate-setting process following such disasters. House Committee on Ways & Means
  • Examine how emergency response activities are organized, funded and coordinated. Review the impact of natural disasters on county finances. Identify any deficiencies in authority for the most populous counties related to infrastructure planning, emergency response and recovery. Explore ways to improve efficiencies and manage costs while protecting public safety. Additionally, study the relationship between the state, counties, non-governmental organizations and churches in preparing for and responding to Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, and determine if preparedness plans are adequate. House Committee on County Affairs
  • Examine Hurricane Harvey’s economic and workforce impact on the state and private sector. Analyze the effects and efficiency of state resources available to assist in job training and the recovery of the state’s workforce. House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development
  • Study the impact of Hurricane Harvey and the response to the storm on individuals living in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, state supported living centers, licensed community group homes and children in the foster care system. Identify and recommend necessary solutions to ensure appropriate disaster-related protocols are in place to keep vulnerable Texans protected. Also, identify any challenges state agencies experienced in responding to the storm or during recovery efforts. House Committee on Human Services
  • Review Texas’ open meeting laws and related government decision-making policies. Determine if the formal processes prevented the efficient delivery of assistance during Hurricane Harvey. Make recommendations on maintaining the current standards of accountability without limiting government-provided aid during disaster events. House Committee on Government Transparency & Operation
  • Examine the role of technology in disaster preparedness and the response to Hurricane Harvey and future natural disasters. Review and make recommendations to drive innovation and efficiency and evaluate whether there are any regulatory impediments to collaboration between the public and private sectors. House Committee on Government Transparency & Operation
  • Evaluate the Texas Department of Public Safety's response to Hurricane Harvey. Review the actions of the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the state's natural disaster preparedness planning efforts to determine their effectiveness at addressing Harvey-related issues. Study coordination between municipalities, counties and state agencies and how emergency response activities are organized and coordinated at the city, county and regional level. House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety


Carrie Kroll, vice president of advocacy, quality and public health, 512/465-1043

Cameron Duncan, III, J.D., assistant general counsel, 512/465-1539

Sharon Beasley, legal manager, 512/465-1030