By Rebecca Harms, Disaster Recovery and Research AmeriCorps VISTA
Harvey’s Impact on Children by the Numbers
Hurricane Harvey has a significant impact on children, disrupting children’s lives immediately and continuing for months into the recovery. Harvey was the most powerful storm to hit Texas in 50 years, leaving behind $125 billion in damages and destruction, which is on record as the second costliest tropical cyclone behind Hurricane Katrina.
There were nearly 3 million children impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The 2017-2018 school year was delayed for several weeks, and in some cases even more. At least 1.4 million children missed one week of school or more across 117 different districts due to Harvey, 60% of whom are from low income families. Additionally, many children were left out of their childcare programs for a significant amount of time. Over 650 childcare programs reported damage or were completely destroyed. The storm left children with a loss of the feelings of safety, innocence, and a desire to play: all of which are the essence of what it means to be a child.
Children’s Unique Needs
Hurricane Harvey helped highlight some of the unique needs of children that make them the most vulnerable during a disaster. We’ve detailed some of those needs below, along with their impact on a child’s support system.
A series of blog posts will be completed over the next several months addressing the specific needs of children during a disaster including needs involving food, housing, education, etc. The posts will also include how Harvey impacted children and recommendations to prepare for the next storm.
Looking for More?
To learn more about CHILDREN AT RISK’s research and recovery efforts around Hurricane Harvey