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Hurricane Harvey - Hardest Hit and Most Vulnerable Populations

featured by Experian, Data for Good (read case study here)


Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm that struck the Texas Gulf Coast on August 25, 2017. While many neighborhoods faced severe destruction, the impact to property damage varied across neighborhoods and some experienced more significant destruction than others.  The challenge for disaster recovery programs is to identify those areas that were most severely impacted by the storm and are in a greater need for assistance due to the underlying socioeconomic distress that existed prior to the storm.    



SP Group utilized Hurricane Harvey damage data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) combined with private data to identify neighborhoods that are most vulnerable to the negative impact of property damage due to their underlying economic conditions – the greatest need neighborhoods. These areas represent greatest need neighborhoods for targeting aid packages such as HUD’s Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) to ensure equitable recovery.  Our analysis identifies 29 tracts where the property damage requires significant repair and rehab assistance, but average incomes of these neighborhoods was $29,000 and average home values were $68,000 prior to the hurricane.