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Houston Matters

Survey Aims To Track Long-Term, Human Effects Of Harvey

Researchers will record what recovery looks like for individuals and neighborhoods — along with public opinion regarding policies that could help prepare for future disasters.

The second stack of debris Sheila Hollie has had stacked in front of her home.
Marissa Cummings


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We all know what happened during Harvey ­– 51 inches of rain fell, more than 134,000 residences in Greater Houston were flooded or destroyed, and some $180 billion in damages occurred.

But what about the long-term human impact of the storm? That won’t be known for years, but researchers at the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston intend to find out. They’ll engage in a survey following as many as 2,000 people in Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, and Brazoria counties over the next five years.

Researchers will record what recovery looks like both for individuals and for neighborhoods — and what policies could help people prepare for future disasters. The results also will gauge public support for flood mitigation and other proposals.

Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn finds out more about the survey from with Pablo Pinto, director of the Center for Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs.