One Year After Hurricane Harvey
Texas Gulf Coast Residents’ Views and Experiences with Hurricane Recovery
Sampling, data collection, weighting and tabulation were managed by SSRS in close collaboration with Kaiser Family Foundation and The Episcopal Health Foundation researchers.
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near Rockport, Texas. Hovering over the region for days, the storm dropped record amounts of rainfall, and flooded over 300,000 structures, 500,000 cars, and caused damage in excess of $125 billion.1 In order to understand the needs and circumstances of vulnerable Texans affected by the hurricane, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Episcopal Health Foundation partnered to conduct two surveys of adults living in 24 counties along the Texas coast that were particularly hard-hit. The first survey, conducted between two and three months after Harvey, was an initial look at how residents were faring in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. As the one-year anniversary approaches, the current survey seeks to shed light on the longer-term recovery needs of those who are still struggling to put their homes and their lives together nearly one year later. Both surveys allow for examination of the views and experiences of residents in these counties overall, as well as in four distinct geographic regions: Harris County (the county where Houston is located and the largest in terms of population); the counties surrounding Harris that are part of the same Regional Council of Governments (“Outside Harris”); the three counties (Orange, Jefferson, and Hardin) that make up the “Golden Triangle” area east of Houston where the cities of Beaumont, Orange, and Port Arthur are located; and several counties to the southwest of Houston that make up the coastal area including Corpus Christi and Rockport (“Coastal”). In addition to the survey, the partners conducted six focus groups in July 2018 (two each in Houston, Port Arthur, and Dickinson) with low- and middle-income residents who were affected by the storm and who said their lives were still disrupted 11 months later.