Why Texas wasn’t prepared for Winter Storm Uri
By Amal Ahmed
I think there’s potentially two factors going on here that are important to keep in mind. The first is just the unfamiliarity of cold weather in Texas. When you tell people in Houston that there’s a hurricane coming, people know what that means. They have experience with that, there’s a depth of understanding both among the public and among officials and various agencies.
Similarly, local nonprofits are such an important part of our response that making sure they get through the disaster themselves while still being able to help the community is vital. For example, as we saw last week, it’s really important that food banks are able to keep operating through a disaster for people who do not have other access to food.
Texas is going to have to go through a process to determine the extent of damage in each county and determine if it reaches the threshold that FEMA looks at to take this to the White House for individual assistance funding. If individual assistance is approved, then homeowners will be able to apply through FEMA. That will help some people, but we tend to see in disasters that FEMA assistance is not enough for many to be able to reach a place of recovery.