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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

After Harvey, what’s next?

Photo by Photo by Laura Haslam

Professor Ron Sievert, senior lecturer at the Bush School, discusses the legal consequences of hurricane Harvey’s destruction in Houston, and how the community will need to work together to overcome the hardship the city will face.

A panel of Bush School faculty gathered Thursday night to discuss the recovery of the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The panel of three lecturers gave their perspectives on issues such as flood insurance, authority in disasters, precedence in disaster and infrastructure policy, the distribution of aid and more to a full room in the Memorial Student Center. 

Justin Bullock, assistant professor at the Bush School and the moderator of the discussion, said the idea for the “pop-up event” was to inform the Bryan-College Station community of what comes next for the Harvey disaster relief. 

Because discussions like the one at the event are tough, the Bush School staff aims to prepare students to mitigate delicate topics in the classroom, such as natural disasters, according to Bullock. 

Dave McIntyre, a lecturer at the Bush School and discussion panelist, said he wanted to demonstrate what the people at the Bush School can contribute in terms of governmental policy. During his presentation, he touched on a systematic flaw in disaster when it comes to authority and how citizens react to who is in charge.

“These people did nothing wrong,” McIntyre said. “It’s not like they ignored warnings.”

As a person who grew up in Houston and a son of parents who went through natural disaster, McIntyre said he understands the difficulty of rebuilding. 

“My heart goes out to those people who have suffered and who are going to suffer for the next two years,” McIntyre said.  

The major theme of the evening was that ‘All disasters are local’ — a theme both business honors junior Jay Schlaegel and business honors sophomore Cory Steinmann said stuck with them. 

“We’re talking about recovery on a local level, but the residents that pay the taxes that would fund recovery, all of their wealth has been taken from under their feet,” Schlaegel said. 

Although Schlaegel was not affected personally by Hurricane Harvey, he said he wanted to gain perspective on discussions and information he heard in the classroom.

“Hearing stories about people who have lost their homes and their families are in jeopardy, people leaving to go save their families definitely made it feel like it was personal,” Schlaegel said. 

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