Disaster Response and Long-Term Recovery

Texas is famous for its weather extremes, but this February’s Winter Storm Uri left millions of people across the state with damaged homes, many lacking insurance and unable to afford the needed repairs. According to AccuWeather, Texas sustained between $45 and $50 billion in damage and economic loss from the storm.
 

Texas Forever Campaign

The Magnolia Foundation has committed $100,000 to the “Texas Forever” campaign to help Texans get back on their feet. Anyone can donate to the campaign. One way to donate is to purchase a “Texas Forever” t-shirt with 100% of proceeds going to the Magnolia Foundation.

Habitat for Humanity Texas is one of three organizations that will receive funds from the “Texas Forever” fundraising campaign for long-term recovery and restoration work.

Habitat Texas Winter Storm Recovery and Restoration

Funds raised from the “Texas Forever” campaign will go toward these goals:

  • Home repair grants – for qualified homeowners, including the elderly, people with disabilities and military veterans, to be disbursed by local Habitat affiliates.
  • Policy change to prevent future deaths by “freezing in your own home” – our policy team seeks to prevent deaths such as that of a boy who died of hypothermia in his family’s poorly-insulated manufactured home.
  • Preventing post-disaster scams – education to help the elderly and other vulnerable people who are prey to scams following a disaster such as insurance and construction scammers.
  • Preparing for future winter storms – home protection and prevention education for statewide affiliates and their local communities.

About Habitat for Humanity Texas’s Disaster Recovery Work

Habitat Texas serves as the state-level contact to interface with relief agencies and to assist affiliates in developing disaster response programs. As a member of Texas Volunteers Active in Disasters (TxVOAD), Habitat Texas is responsible for helping the state prepare for and recover from disasters that destroy the homes of vulnerable Texans.

Quick Links

According to Texas Ready, there are three things that everyone should do to prepare for a disaster: be informed, make a plan, and build a kit.  

Be informed: Research what disasters are more frequent in the area you live in and learn about the common effects that cause them. Consider both manmade and natural disasters. Stay up-to-date on the weather and be informed about the risks in your community, such as industrial plants or transport routes for hazardous materials. 

Make a plan: Disasters often come without much warning. Plan ahead of time to have a way to communicate with family and close friends when disaster strikes. Do not wait until a disaster happens to make a plan. Making a plan includes deciding what you will do before, during, and after a disaster, as well as preparing for emotional and mental impacts

Build a kit: Create a kit that includes necessities for your family, friends, and pets. Every kit should include food, water, and medical supplies, and they should be packed in a portable container. Make an inventory list of your kit items that you may need to bring last minute, such as medications, documentations, or a cane.

  • Every Business Should Have a Plan is a resource from FEMA Habitat that offices can use when creating their own plan. All affiliates should have a plan in place to respond in the event of a disaster with consideration for the following
    • Are affiliate operations affected?
    • Is the ReStore affected?
    • Are staff personally affected?
    • Are homeowners affected?
    • How is the community affected?
  • Preparedness Wizard from NCDP can help you identify potential disasters in your area and aid you in creating a plan.
  • HAZUS from FEMA is a tool that gives an estimate for potential costs of earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis.
  • Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters from NOAA researches high cost climate-related disasters going back to 1980.
  • NatCatSERVICE from Munich RE has decades of research on natural disasters and provides you with data on human and monumental losses.
  • Habitat Texas owns a disaster response tool van available for use by member affiliates actively involved in recovery efforts. Donated to Habitat for Humanity by Nissan, the van comes equipped with many of the tools you will need for disaster response.
  • AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members may be available to help you respond. Habitat Texas partners with AmeriCorps VISTA, a national service program where citizens make a full-time, one year commitment to provide service to their partnered organization. AmeriCorps VISTAs are there to help with long-term recovery and capacity building.

Disaster Services

Preparedness 

Texas is prone to disasters: tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms and blizzards, drought, fires, and floods. These natural disasters, as well as man-made disasters, can severely impact the lives of the staff and volunteers of our affiliates and partner families.

The best time to prepare for disasters is before they happen. Habitat Texas’ primary focus is on preparedness for our affiliates – helping affiliates write disaster plans and keeping them on file. According to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, every dollar spent on disaster preparedness is worth six dollars in recovery.

Long-term Recovery

Habitat for Humanity actively participates in long-term recovery. Other agencies are limited to providing immediate support in the hours after a disaster. Habitat remains dedicated for months and even years after to provide continued support. Habitat Texas serves as the state-level contact to interface with relief agencies and to assist affiliates in developing disaster response programs.

We also help coordinate the Texas affiliate response by partnering with affected affiliates.

We’ve seen regionally that disasters can affect entire communities as well as individuals. Visit Texas Ready to begin your personal disaster preparedness plan.

Member of Texas Volunteers Active in Disasters (TxVOAD)