Houstonians will receive a more detailed picture of just how devastating Hurricane Harvey was and the storm’s long-term effects on residents due to a survey from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston that will follow 2,000 people across four Texas counties for the next five years.
The survey will document recovery efforts as well as potential policies for future mitigation efforts in the hopes of garnering public support and to prepare people for future disasters, according to a press release from UH.
“We want to see how people react and recover in the face of a disaster like Harvey,” Jim Granato, Executive Director for the Hobby School, said in the release. “If we know how they react, we can recommend policies to address recovery.”
The survey was launched in the fall and will follow the trials of residents living in Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend and Brazoria counties. According to the release, the first survey was conducted with a randomized sample of people across all four counties between Nov. 20 and Dec. 20.
The first round of surveys that was completed in mid-February found that almost one-third of Houston-area residents reported serious flood damage to their homes and that almost 85 percent of Harris County respondents support tougher restrictions on construction in flood plains, according to the release.
The first report also found that while the majority of respondents supported flood mitigation projects, they did not support the methods to fund those projects. Almost half of Harris County respondents said they would not support an increase in property taxes or sales taxes.
A spring 2018 survey will cover topics related to a flood abatement proposals and funding mechanisms as well as residents’ recovery paces, according to the release.
View the charts below for more results from the first round of surveys, including what policy proposals Houstonians support most.
Note: All of the information presented in these charts was obtained from the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs Harvey Survey Highlights reports and primarily display results from residents living in Harris County. A total of 2,002 respondents living in Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria and Montgomery Counties participated in the initial survey.