Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area in August 2017, causing 88 deaths and over $125 billion in damage. The storm hit just at the beginning of the school year, and thousands of students were displaced after their school buildings were damaged by the storm.
The trauma after such a disastrous event can be particularly hard on children. Beyond the immediate impact of losing their homes or favorite toys, many children get upset every time it rains or worry about bothering their parents with their concerns. What is being done to address the unique needs of the students who were impacted by Harvey?
As with any major natural disaster, there are lessons learned and bright spots. Schools and communities are creating more resiliency in their emergency action plans, buildings, and plans to support the emotional needs of affected students, teachers, and staff. Some school buildings even became important community support centers, and the relationships built as the flood waters rose are still strong. There is also a concerted effort to build resiliency citywide, so that the area is better prepared for the next storm.
The panel discussion will be moderated by NBC News Chief Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis, and joined by panelists:
- Dr. Elizabeth Fagen - Superintendent, Humble Independent School District
- Dr. Natalie Fikac - Director, Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston
- Dr. Julie Kaplow - Chief of Psychology and Director of Trauma and Grief Center, Texas Children’s Hospital
- Roy Moore - Principal, Nottingham Elementary School
This discussion will be featured in the “NBC News Learn Presents: Education Now” live event in Houston, TX on September 24. The full event will be live-streamed here -- stay tuned for updates.