There’s a good reason why Mashable’s Andrew Freedman dubbed Hurricane Harvey—now barreling toward Texas and Louisiana—“the meteorological equivalent of a White Walker from Game of Thrones.” This is no joke. Harvey is likely to be the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2005. Harvey will make landfall late Friday or early Saturday. The storm is expected to hit middle Texas coast. After that, Harvey will likely stall over the state, which could lead to catastrophic flooding. In fact, the storm surge of 20+ inches is the highest ever predicted.
Harvey was upgraded to Category 3 (winds of 111 to 129 mph) less than an hour ago.
One HOPES that FEMA and other regulatory agencies are consistent despite changes of the President, but with Trump, you just don’t know. Trump has been active on the twitter front regarding the hurricane as well, re-tweeting a photo of his conversation with Texas Governor Greg Abbot, and a video of Trump meeting being briefed by various FEMA officials ahead of the impending storm. But that’s PR.
Will FEMA handle Harvey as poorly as Katrina? Probably not. In the wake of Katrina, significant changes have been made to ensure more efficiency on the part of the agency, typified by their ability to work effectively with several state, local, and federal organizations in the wake of Superstorm Standy. Regardless, FEMA faces its first major challenge in some time, and the first under the Trump Administration. All eyes are on the response, relief, and recovery of this forthcoming natural disaster.
So far, though, so good. Dallas News reports FEMA has also set up a command center at an Airfield near Seguin TX, stationed trailers containing supplies, food, and water in San Antonio, and placed FEMA staff at Texas’s State Operation center to make coordination efforts as seamless as possible – while letting Texas officials take the lead. Gov. Abbott activated 700 or so members of the national guard ,the Houston School District announced multiple closing ahead of the storm, a state of disaster has already been declared for multiple counties, and those in power are speaking directly to the citizens regarding what to expect, how to prepare, and how to get out.