Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Harvey Continues to Cause Dangerous Flooding to the Gulf Region, Here Are Ways You Can Help Those Impacted


Harvey remains a tropical storm as it moves across Southeast Texas into Southwest Louisiana and other parts of the Southeast U.S. region, continuing to bring heavy rainfall and causing flood waters to continue to rise.

The Weather Channel Tropical Storm Harvey Forecast August 29th


Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) 10:00 AM CDT, August 29, 2017 update:

  • A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for North of Port O’Connor, Texas to Morgan City, Louisiana
  • A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for East of Morgan City, Louisiana to Grand Isle, Louisiana
  • A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Port Bolivar, Texas to Morgan City, Louisiana


The NHC provides a list of hazards present in the path of the storm. Please heed all evacuation orders and instructions from local emergency management and law enforcement:

  • RAINFALL: Harvey is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches through Friday over parts of the upper Texas coast into southwestern Louisiana. Isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches over the upper Texas coast, including the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area. These rains are currently producing catastrophic and life-threatening flooding over large portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. Elsewhere, Harvey is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches across portions of southern Louisiana into coastal Mississippi and Alabama. Rainfall associated with Harvey will spread north by mid to late week, with rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches spreading into portions of Arkansas and the Tennessee Valley.
  • STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…
    • San Luis Pass to Morgan City including Galveston Bay…1 to 3 ft
    • The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near the area of onshore winds. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.
  • WIND: Tropical storm conditions are occurring over portions of the warning area along the coast and are likely to persist during the next day or so. Tropical storms conditions are possible within the watch area within the next 24 hours.
  • SURF: Swells generated by Harvey are affecting the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
  • TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible today from extreme southeast Texas across parts of southern Louisiana, coastal Mississippi and coastal Alabama.


As emergency response teams have been mobilized and begun to deploy the the affected areas, FEMA has called on to citizens to support the rescue effort. Specifically, FEMA has asked for volunteers to find ways to help through the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and for financial donations to charitable organizations. However, citizens engaging in emergency relief efforts must exercise extreme caution and should not attempt to independently mobilize, bring supplies, or enter flooded areas and put themselves into the path of danger. Instead, consider these areas that need support: General relief, Local Relief, Blood Donation, Sheltering, Food Banks, Pet/Animal Rescue, and monetary donations.

In times of crisis, communities and extended communities tend to rally together to support those in need. However, as discussed by National Public Radio (NPR) Correspondent Pam Fessler, citizens want to support one another and aid in emergency relief, but volunteer and relief organizations can become overwhelmed with too many donated goods that cannot be put to practical use.  As Fessler writes in lessons learned from prior relief efforts, “…those who have dealt with disasters before say people need to be careful about how they contribute to disaster relief, and when. Cash donations are almost always preferred over items — such as blankets, clothing and stuffed animals — often sent into overwhelmed disaster areas by well-meaning donors.” In the aftermath of Harvey, Bob Ottenhoff, president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, echoes Fessler’s message, stating “..With the floods blocking off streets, when warehouses are not available, there’s no place for these products — there’s no place to store anything, there’s no place to distribute anything. And that’s going to be the case for some time.” Before assembling care packages, consider monetary donations to trusted charitable organizations and consult some of the resources we have listed below.

Consider these resource links when preparing to volunteer your time or resources:


  • Texas: See open sheltering information here
  • Louisiana: See open sheltering information here


As life-threatening hazards and heavy rainfall continue to plague the Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana coastal region, please heed all evacuation orders and instructions from local emergency management and law enforcement:


  • NOAA’s National Hurricane Center for regular updates on Hurricane Harvey: link
  • Remember, Ready.gov provides information on how to prepare for a storm and how to keep you and your family safe: link

Hagerty Consulting is an emergency management consulting firm that helps our clients prepare for and recover from disasters. Established in 2001, Hagerty Consulting’s work includes some of the nation’s largest recovery and preparedness projects in more than 30 states, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy.

You can learn more about our disaster recovery practice here.