Report highlights strengths, weaknesses of Harris County's Harvey response

Flooded homes near Lake Houston after Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 30, 2017.
Flooded homes near Lake Houston after Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 30, 2017. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

HOUSTON – A report released to the public Monday reviews Harris County’s response to Hurricane Harvey  and lists areas of strengths and weaknesses.

The storm dumped more than 50 inches of rain in the Houston area over nearly five days, causing devastating flooding. More than 60 people died in the storm. More than 300,000 structures were flooded. More than $120 billion in damage was caused.

The after-action report released by the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management showed that officials did a good job of, among other things, pre-positioning assets which enabled quick deployment. The report also said the county did a good job of pairing civilians with rescuers, providing essentials to affected communities and using social media to communicate information.

However, the report said that among the things county leaders could improve is their management of donations, training of employees who have roles in disaster management, the speed with which critical information is shared and the organization of debris-removal contracts.

“Hurricane Harvey’s test of our emergency response highlighted remarkable successes and areas for improvement,” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said in a release about the report. “Applying those lessons will certainly make us better prepared for the next disaster.”

After-action reports have also been compiled for the Regional Joint Information Center, and other departments are conducting internal reviews, officials said.

To read the after-action report for HCOHSEM, go to ReadyHarris.org.

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