Rebuilding After the Storm

Harvey Disaster Aid Timeline

  • August 23, 2017: Two days before Hurricane Harvey makes landfall, Sen. Cornyn speaks with FEMA Administrator Brock Long, Chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management Nim Kidd, and local officials in Corpus Christi to receive an update on preparations and offer assistance.
  • August 25, 2017: Hurricane Harvey hits the Texas coast.
  • August 26, 2017: Sen. Cornyn and his wife serve dinner at a shelter for evacuees in Austin.
  • August 28, 2017: Sen. Cornyn, Sen. Cruz, and Gov. Abbott survey storm damage in the Coastal Bend and receive a briefing on the storm at the Texas Department of Public Safety office in Corpus Christi.
  • September 3, 2017: Sen. Cornyn volunteers to distribute water in Beaumont and hand out supplies to evacuees at the NRG Center in Houston with congressional colleagues after receiving update on storm damage.  Sen. Cornyn also tours a damaged middle school in Victoria and receives a briefing from local and state officials on the storm’s impact on public education.
  • September 21, 2017: Sen. Cornyn brings Speaker Paul Ryan to Houston to receive an update from local and national officials and to volunteer clearing debris from homes in Friendswood.
  • September 23, 2017: Sen. Cornyn hosts Fort Bend County First Responders Appreciation Event highlighting the brave and selfless actions of first responders during and after Hurricane Harvey.
  • September 8, 2017: The first emergency disaster aid package totaling $15.25 billion is signed into law. This package included $7.4 billion for FEMA, $450 million for the Small Business Authority (SBA) disaster loan program, and $7.4 billion for HUD housing assistance in areas impacted by the storm. Senator Cornyn had worked with his colleagues to increase the funding levels from the House-passed bill.
  • September 29, 2017: Sen. Cornyn’s bill to provide more than $5.5 billion in targeted tax relief for Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey was signed into law.
  • October 18, 2017: President Trump signs a bill to allow victims of Hurricane Harvey to deduct property damage costs from their taxes and access retirement savings without penalties. Sen. Cornyn supported this bill.
  • September 29, 2017: The President signed the Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017 into law to help young Texans pursue an uninterrupted education and focus existing resources on schools impacted by the storm. Sen. Cornyn supported this bill.
  • October 26, 2017: The second disaster aid package included $36.5 billion in funding relief for Texans as well as those impacted by wildfires in the western United States. Senator Cornyn voted for this bill.
  • January 3, 2018: FEMA changes its policy to ensure houses of worship are now eligible for federal disaster relief assistance after Sen. Cornyn and his colleagues urged the agency to do so.
  • February 8, 2018: The third disaster aid package included $89.3 billion in emergency funding for areas hit by natural disasters, including Harvey. This includes $23.5 billion for FEMA and $28 billion for HUD to rebuild housing and infrastructure. Senator Cornyn voted for this bill.
  • February 2018: Legislation is signed into law to provide over $5.5 billion in targeted tax relief for Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The bill was introduced by Senator Cruz and cosponsored by Senator Cornyn.
  • May 9, 2018: Sen. Cornyn introduces bipartisan bill to allow Community Development Block grants (CDBG-DR) to be used to create partnerships with nonprofit organizations for the neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation, and natural disaster recovery.
  • July 6, 2018: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces nearly $5 billion for disaster recovery projects in Texas and $16 million for studies in Texas on projects that would protect against future natural disasters, based on funding passed by Congress earlier that year.  The full list of projects they funded is here.
  • July 20, 2018: Sen. Cornyn hosts a hurricane flood protection roundtables in Port Arthur and Houston with local leaders and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discuss specifics of the $881 million Port Arthur Hurricane Flood Protection levee, the $295 million Clear Creek flood control project in Harris County, and other critical flood mitigation projects.
  • July 31, 2018: Sen. Cornyn votes to extend the National Flood Insurance Program to help Texans protect themselves ahead of future storms.
  • October 24, 2018: President Trump signs into law Sen. Cornyn’s language to authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hurricane and storm damage risk reduction project from Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay. Sen. Cornyn had secured $4 billion in federal appropriations to advance this project in the Bipartisan Budget Act, which was signed into law in February 2018.


Recovery Resources

Disaster Distress Helpline

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Call (800) 985-5990, TTY (800) 846-8517, or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor (Spanish-speakers text: Hablanos a 66746).



Hurricane Preparedness

Visit the Hurricane Prepareness page for tips on how to be ready for severe weather during hurricane season.