Now that hurricane season is in full swing, many Houstonians are preparing for potentially catastrophic storms. However, some people are still working to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey, which came ashore in August 2017. Recovery is far from over, but the path to rebuild just got a boost from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who signed four new bills into law addressing Hurricane Harvey relief.
The first bill signed by Governor Abbott was House Bill 5. This bill created a requirement for the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to develop catastrophic debris management plans, provide training, and establish a workgroup to make recommendations on how local communities could help with recovery. The bill also requires TDEM to create a model contract local communities can use to engage companies in debris removal.
House Bill 7 was also signed into law, which made it a requirement for the Office of the Governor to create a list of waivers that could be implemented in the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane. House Bill 7 also sets requirements for TDEM to develop disaster preparedness plans that can be utilized by local communities.
The remaining two bills signed by Governor Abbott came from the Texas Senate. Senate Bill 6 has three parts: (1) TDEM will develop disaster response models, (2) TDEM will conduct a wet debris study group for communities, and (3) communities that suffer significant damage from natural disasters will be eligible to apply for a newly created disaster recovery loan program.
The final bill, Senate Bill 7, will provide $1.6 billion through the Texas Infrastructure Resilience Fund to communities hit the hardest by Hurricane Harvey. A portion of the funds will be utilized to support and improve flood mitigation infrastructure.
Get Hurricane Harvey Help
While these new bills will hopefully help aid Houstonians in recovery, the reality is many Hurricane Harvey victims need more than the assistance provided by these bills. If you are still struggling with a Hurricane Harvey claim, such as a hurricane damage insurance denial or an Addicks and Barker reservoir claim, contact Raizner Law today for a free consultation to see how we can help.