by Steve Dust, CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber
So, what happens to the U.S. economy when the fourth largest city in the nation — a major refining center — is shut down? There’s no way to tell yet, but here are some articles that help frame the estimates on how the United States may be impacted by this devastating natural event.
Harvey to Cause Several Months of Unsettled National Economic Data
Applications for unemployment insurance go up, and soaring fuel costs are two of the expected immediate economic impacts of Harvey.
These Are the Data Points That Will Show Harvey’s Economic Impact, Bloomberg, August 31, 2017
Business Conditions in Houston
Here’s an on-the-ground report of business conditions.
Harvey stalls Houston commerce, could cost $50 billion in damage and economic activity, Chron.com, August 29, 2017
This column by Chris Tomlinson lays the blame for much of the devastation on developers taking advantage of growing populations. Tomlinson also notes that Houston homeowners are dramatically underinsured – only 15 percent who live in a floodplain have flood insurance.
The columnist encourages the City of Houston to alter the form of reconstruction. At a time when people are seeing their belongings mired in mud and seeking a place to protect their families is not a time to debate economics. However, Houston has to come to grips with the balance between people rebuilding affordable, flood-protected homes and businesses and reactionary building requirements that push the investment critical to rebuilding.
Response to Harvey will determine economic impact, Houston Chronicle, August 29, 2017
How to Help
This piece lists some of the U.S. businesses that have stepped up to help with people, materials, and money. If you are affiliated with any of these companies, please consider adding to any funds that they have established to aid the recovery.
Companies are pitching in to help Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, CNBC.com, August 30, 2017
Did you know that your Cedar Valley colleague Joe Vich, in retirement, has become a go-to guy for the American Red Cross disaster recovery group? He volunteers weeks of his time to feed and shelter people who have been made homeless and resource-less due to disaster and also helps individuals in the Cedar Valley when personal disaster strikes. Pam Dowie is another selfless souls who pack a light bag and travel anyplace to help bring human support and essentials to those surviving and recovering. There are many other neighbors doing the same thing; I just happen to know Joe and Pam.
The people of Houston need your help. Here is a list of reputable places to help the recovery.
How You Can Help Victims of Harvey, The Weather Channel, August 29, 2017