Rice’s Kinder Institute releases updated dashboards of Hurricane Harvey-related 211 calls and FEMA data

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations


David Ruth

Amy McCaig

Rice’s Kinder Institute releases updated dashboards of Hurricane Harvey-related 211 calls and FEMA data

HOUSTON – (Jan. 23, 2018) – Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research today released updated dashboards containing information about Hurricane Harvey-related calls to the 211 helpline operated by the United Way of Greater Houston and Federal Emergency Management Agency data for Harris County, Texas. Jie Wu, director of research management for the Kinder Institute, is available to discuss the dashboards.

The 211 Calls Data Dashboard shows Harvey-related calls to the helpline between Aug. 28 and Nov. 30, 2017. Of the almost 226,000 calls to the 211 system during that time, 80,293 unique callers requested service referrals due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey. The number of calls per week dropped from a peak of 21,233 during the week of the storm to 2,885 by the last week of November. Heavy concentrations of calls came from near Addicks Reservoir and from the northeast side of Houston.

Needs changed week to week and reflected the process of recovery, according to Wu. During the first seven weeks following the storm, most calls requested referrals or information for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) and other food assistance, temporary financial aid, shelter and disaster unemployment assistance. Calls during weeks eight to 14 were requests for disaster-related case management, electric-service payment assistance, rent payment and housing assistance, temporary financial aid and food assistance.

The FEMA Assistance Dashboard provides data visualizing aggregate statistics on assistance program registrants in a number of categories and program-eligibility subject areas. It also provides a view of where some of the highest impacts were recorded through a series of maps and charts. The Individual Assistance Dashboard includes the number of valid registrations by ZIP code and the distribution of needs requested across categories. The Housing Assistance Dashboard provides a detailed breakdown of those who registered and were approved for housing assistance by renters and property owners.

Wu said the FEMA Assistance Dashboard may be used to analyze the program’s response to Hurricane Harvey to help shape future disaster-response plans for Houston.

“This work is part of the needs-assessment study conducted by the Kinder Institute for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund,” Wu said. “We found the stages of recovery vary across the communities. We hope the dashboard will help inform the social service providers as well as philanthropists in order to support long-term recovery in the area.”

The dashboards are accessible online at www.datahouston.org/gallery.html.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Wu, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.


This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.

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Harvey data dashboard: http://www.datahouston.org/gallery.html

Photo link: http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/01/211phone-b-29wboq2.jpg

Photo credit: 123RF.com

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About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.