Giving Compass' Take:

· The Mitchell Foundation explains how Hurricane Harvey showed the devastation that can come from natural disasters and why we need to better prepare for these events as climate change continues to pose great risks.

· How has Hurricane Harvey affected the way America responds to natural disasters and disaster relief? What concerns did it raise about disaster preparedness and relief efforts?  

· Here's more on this topic and ways to respond to disasters after Hurricane Harvey.

The phrase “after Harvey” dominates Houston’s vocabulary. Can we live in this house after Harvey? Will businesses still relocate here after Harvey?

Nearly 20 months after one of the most expensive disasters in U.S. history, much has changed. In 2018, City Council passed regulations requiring new construction to be elevated 2 feet above the 500-year flood plain, a move that, along with the push to update building codes across Texas, should protect more property. Harris County voters also resoundingly approved a $2.5 billion bond referendum to fund 230 new flood mitigation projects.

That’s important progress. But, despite our new reality, we have not started moving past the retroactive scrambling of recovery and toward the deliberate planning of resilience.

That distinction is more than just a play on buzzwords. For all the damage Harvey brought, it also has given our region money and urgency it wouldn’t have had otherwise to prepare for the dangerous changes to our climate expected this century. We must take advantage of both. While flood recovery and mitigation will always be essential in Houston, we must also develop smart, comprehensive policies that address the many other climate-related threats.

Read the full article about flood risk and climate challenges after Harvey at The Mitchell Foundation.