In early December, the Texas Senate Committee of Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) held a public hearing and overview of the interim charges, or key issues, the committee is set to review in between legislative sessions. Among the charges is a study of ways to improve the state’s disaster recovery strategy – something Texas has long needed.
We are proud partners in an innovative disaster recovery housing program known as RAPIDO, a strategy for local pre-planning, effective coordination and quick rebuilding that we believe could be a model for the state. In fact, during this year’s legislative session the IGR committee approved a bill to adopt local disaster recovery planning based on RAPIDO. The legislation received broad bipartisan support and easily passed in the Senate, but did not receive a vote before the House’s crowded bill deadline. However, the IGR committee continues to take RAPIDO under serious consideration as they work on disaster recovery solutions in advance of the 2017 legislative session.
To that end, two of our partners testified at the committee’s hearing about the flaws in Texas’ current disaster recovery system (of which there are many) and the advantages of RAPIDO. Dr. Shannon Van Zandt is a professor at the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M and a member of our board. Maddie Sloan is the director of the Disaster Recovery and Fair Housing Project at Texas Appleseed. You can see their full testimony, and learn more about RAPIDO and recovery, here: