Texas - Hurricane Response and Recovery

Texas Louis RamirezEpiscopal Diocese of Texas

In partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, the Episcopal Diocese of Texas responded to the urgent needs of people across the impacted region from Beaumont to Galveston. Immediately after the storm, they utilized AlertMedia, an emergency communication platform, to assess and organize responses with clergy and congregational leaders.

Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic damage in many areas throughout Texas. Diocesan leaders were in regular contact with the US Disaster team. Emergency support included funding for temporary housing for people who lost their homes and the distribution of gift cards to purchase food, water and other supplies. Spiritual care teams also provided compassionate care and distributed gift cards. Diocesan leaders mapped out plans for relief and recovery and continually assessed the needs of congregations and communities.

Katie Mears, Director of the US Disaster Program, has traveled to the area three times as well as key members of Episcopal Relief & Development’s Partner in Response team to assist diocesan and congregational leaders with assessments and planning ongoing recovery activities.

To help lead recovery efforts, The Rev. Stacy Stringer, the rector of Holy Trinity Church in Dickinson, has been named Director of Hurricane Recovery for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, effective February 15. During Hurricane Harvey, she coordinated relief efforts and provided a strong pastoral presence for vulnerable members of her congregation and the Dickinson community.


Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

Hurricane Harvey devastated many coastal communities, leaving them without power, roads and a viable infrastructure. Thousands were forced to seek shelter and many lost their homes. Low lying areas of West Texas, more remote than other parts of the state, were flooded. Assistance was urgently needed.

Episcopal Relief & Development partnered with the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas to provide gift cards to those living in impacted communities along the southern Texas Coast, including the west side of Corpus Christi, four inland communities and the coastal areas of Rockport and Port Aransas. These gift cards enabled residents to purchase food, water and basic hygiene products as well as cleaning supplies, power tools and other equipment.

Katie Mears, Director of the US Disaster Program and The Rev. Elaine Clements, a key member of Episcopal Relief & Development’s Partner in Response team, visited the West Texas diocese to assess damage and to assist in planning relief and recovery efforts. As part of its long-term plans, the diocese has hired a Deputy for Disaster Response to establish a long-term disaster recovery strategy and to focus on meeting unmet needs including financial support for rebuilding supplies and assistance with childcare needs. 

Go back to 2017 Hurricane Response page


Resources

Disasters Can Teach the Church Lessons About How to Respond in the Future, Episcopal News Service

Presiding Bishop Tours Houston-area Congregations, Offers Support in Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Episcopal News Service

Press Releases and Web Statements

8 Stories of Recovery in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

What Can I Do to Help?