Dr. Arnold Vedlitz, ISTPP Director, led a study on the role of stakeholder organizations in local recovery and resilience efforts following hurricanes and strong storms. Relevant stakeholder organizations include government, business and industry, health providers, advocacy groups, and nonprofit organizations. Each stakeholder group plays an important role in creating support for policies and actions that can strengthen community resilience to natural disasters. For this study, the team conducted a survey of stakeholders in the Coastal Bend region of Texas, the area where Hurricane Harvey made landfall in 2017. This survey collected original data on stakeholders’ perceptions of the impact of different causes of flooding; the extent of damage and recovery; effects on community groups, infrastructure, and market sectors; and support for government policies and actions to strengthen resilience.
Based on the survey results, the study team found that a majority of respondents identified inadequate drainage of flood prone areas, building in areas prone to flooding, and degraded natural flood control areas as having a strong or very strong impact on flooding in the Coastal Bend area. Respondents perceived that multi-family and single family housing units sustained the most damage and recovered the least. Furthermore, low-income residents and renters were considered to have been especially hard hit by Hurricane Harvey. To improve local community resilience to severe storms, survey participants expressed support for conserving natural flood protection areas, fortifying infrastructure design and building construction standards, and limiting renovation and development in flood-prone areas. More than 80 percent of respondents also indicated that government efforts to create partnerships and prioritize occupations that are most essential to recovery work would be an effective or very effective approach for advancing community resilience.
For more information about the study and its results, you can access the report here.
Stephanie Brown, Carol Goldsmith, Lisa Halperin, Kimberly Winarksi, and Arnold Vedlitz.
Project Final Report: Role of Coastal Bend Organizational Stakeholders in Regional Recovery and Resilience Efforts. Project funded by the US Department of Treasury through the State of Texas under Award 1 RCEGR480001-01-00. April 2020.