According to a Rice University think tank, a hurricane in Houston/Galveston could endanger tens of thousands of lives and economically devastate the area. See the article here. The Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters Center (SSPEED) Director Phil Bedient said “‘Ike was a Category 2 hurricane, and it caused $30 billion in damage. Had that same storm struck 30 miles farther south, it could easily have caused $100 billion in damage. Had it struck that location as a Category 4 storm, like Carla, the results would have been catastrophic'”.
SSPEED’s purpose is to “propose policy options to decision makers at the state, local and federal level with an unbiased assessment of the economic and environmental costs and benefits of all approaches so that an informed decision on the future of the region can be made”. I think that is a great idea. We have to rely on unbiased research groups for which to base our ordinances. Otherwise, we are just guessing. Let’s take the guessing out of government.
Mayor Parker is proposing to do away with our rainy day fund to balance the budget. I hope SSPEED meets with her, and I hope that she takes this report seriously. We have to save money. The fact of the matter is that Houston will have more hurricanes and more storms that will cost us money. Sure, we need to balance our budget now, but that shouldn’t mean that we forget about tomorrow and years to come.