In Retrospect - Hurricane Harvey and the Impact on African-American Neighborhoods

APA Planning & the Black Community Division


Friday, November 30, 2018
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST

CM | 1.50

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For many people living near the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast line, August 25, 2017 will always be a day to remember. On this day, twenty-seven trillion gallons of water began to pour into the region as the category four hurricane, Harvey, traveled along the Coast line (Zarracina, 2017). The havoc caused by Hurricane Harvey affected tens of thousands of people living within the region destroying homes, and business forcing thousands to evacuate into shelters. This massive 1,000-year storm destroyed over 40,000 homes and caused over $125 billion in damages (Blake, 2018; FEMA, 2017). As the people residing within this geographical region began to rebuild, one area of interest worth examining is the equitability of the preparedness, response, and recovery processes among minority populations, specifically African Americans. Historically, research has shown that “low-income communities and communities of color don’t get the necessary protection (Bullard, 2017).” It was clear throughout Hurricane Harvey as the local and national media highlighted areas of Houston that did not contain a high minority population, despite Houston’s overall diversity. This study uses a combination of GIS mapping, informal interviews, and content analysis to examine the impacts Hurricane Harvey had on the Black Community, specifically in historically African American communities in Houston, Texas. The paper will discuss the measures that the local, state, and federal governments used to prepare, respond, and rebuild the community. In addition, the paper will discuss any disproportionate impacts and injustices that the Black community endured to decide if the African American population was more or less prepared than their counterparts. Hear from the PBCD Fellow who conducted the research, City officials and leading Hazard Mitigation educators discuss Hurricane Harvey and its impact on the Black community.

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John Cooper, Ph.D.

Confirmed Speaker

John Cooper is professor of the practice, director of outreach for the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, and director of Texas Target Cities at Texas A&M University. His research and practice has focused on promoting principles of inclusive planning and plan quality, helping planners mitigate threats to economy, environment ... Read More

Derek Hull

Confirmed Speaker

Derek R. Hull is an urban planning, economic and community development professional, whose impact in these fields, spans from coast to coast.. A former Congressional Intern, Derek uses his legislative experiences to create public policies that will greatly enhance the quality of life, particularly for minorities. Having served as Planning ... Read More

Rick Flanagan

Confirmed Speaker

Rick Flanagan was appointed as Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Houston in 2014. In his role, Mr. Flanagan oversees the emergency management program for the nation’s fourth-largest city, which includes the coordination of disaster mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Flanagan ... Read More

Joy Semien

Confirmed Speaker

Joy Semien received her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Dillard University (2015). While at Dillard she studied and conducted research at the Marine Biological Laboratory (2013), in Gabon, Africa (2014), and Kingston, Jamaica (2012). She presented her research at conferences like the Emergent ... Read More

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Christine Dersi,