University of Houston study to track Harvey’s impact on people

HOUSTON - Hurricane Harvey unleashed 51 inches of rain and an estimated $180 Billion  in property damages, but the long-term human impact of the storm won't be known for years.

That's why officials from the University of Houston are conducting a survey to study what lessons can be learned from the storm.

"We're gonna track about 2,000 people over the next five years, and the focus is on what they did before Harvey, what they did during Harvey and what they're going to be doing to get back whole after Harvey,"  Jim Granato, executive director of the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston, said.

Participants will be from Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, and Brazoria counties.

"It's a random sample, so we're going to randomly sample the people in these four counties based on what happened to them," Granato said.

"There's going to be several questions about policy and issues we've taken to deal with the next Harvey situation and how much money people are going to be willing to pay for those things," Granato said.

Researchers also want to see which source of media people do people prefer during certain disasters, including social media and which are most helpful?

"Our police force, our first responders-- they're stretched thin. So, how do we as citizens communicate with each other and help each other out?" Granato asked. "And the role of the media in this was just I think, helped save a lot of lives."

As the Bayou City makes its comeback from such a devastating disaster, this study will be watching and recording and hoping to make a difference so that we can deal with whatever Mother Nature sends our way in the future!