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The Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research

Hurricane Harvey Oral History Project

The Hurricane Harvey Oral History Project focuses on the ways that Houston communities, households, families, and individuals, as well as organizations, institutions and government officials, responded to the threats and realities imposed by Hurricane Harvey. The project records, reports, and preserves the narratives that participants share so that these ephemeral memories are captured and available for all those interested in public health and disaster responses, Houston, history, and developing ways forward. This research effort provides students with training experiences in the conduct of fieldwork, enhances their interviewing skills, and will provide them with opportunities for analysis and synthesis of primary data.

Participants

We are conducting face-to-face in-depth digitally-recorded audio interviews with participants from a broad swath of the Texas community that experienced the effects of Hurricane Harvey, directly or indirectly, as they prepared for the reception of possible evacuees or the stress of greatly reduced resources (e.g., gas). The oral histories are from members of the general public, first responders, ad hoc groups that formed spontaneously, community-based organizations (CBOs), national and international governmental organizations, government workers and officials, and corporations (e.g., HEB provided food services from trucks and arrived before some government officials were in place).

Project Goals

The goal of the Hurricane Harvey Oral History Project is to preserve the history of people's experiences and responses to Harvey, incorporating perspectives from multiple points of view. The Hurricane Harvey Oral History Project will allow interested parties access to these stories and contributes to the history of Houston and Texas. Researchers from multiple disciplines will be able to access these stories to better understand the Harvey experience and what lessons can be drawn from it.

People

Sheryl McCurdy, PhD
Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
UTHealth School of Public Health

Paula Cuccaro, PhD
Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
UTHealth School of Public Health