Following Hurricane Harvey, a total of 41 counties in Southeast Texas received a federal disaster designation, and nearly 900,000 individual assistance applications had been received by FEMA by the end of November 2017. An additional 200,000 to 300,000 individuals and families were also impacted but did not register with FEMA, mostly because of fragile legal status. Many residents are still displaced from their homes, some still living in hotels across the state and beyond. The storm also impacted schools, affecting more than 1 million students and 220 school districts throughout the region.

Members of FEMA's Urban Search and Rescue Nebraska Task Force One (NE-TF1) perform one of many water rescues in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
Members of FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Nebraska Task Force One (NE-TF1) perform one of many water rescues in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey


Philanthropic dollars, though significant in support of this disaster, will not be nearly enough to address all the needs. It is imperative that the funds available to support mid- to long-term recovery through the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund be used in a focused and purposeful manner, leveraging other public and private funds to have the biggest impact on the recovery efforts. Since a large percentage of the public funds for Hurricane Harvey are geographically designated specifically to meet recovery needs of Houston and Harris County, it is also important to support recovery efforts throughout the entire region.

Grantmaking Timeline

October 2017 – $50K grant awarded to OneStar Foundation (see Grantees section)

February 2018 – Seven grants totaling $1+ million

June/July 2018

December 2018

March 2019

Grant Committee

A grant committee featuring national, state and local experts in the areas of long-term recovery, nonprofit and government leadership, and the issue areas identified during the assessment has been convened and held its first meeting on January 11, 2018. The purpose of this committee is to advise and assist the CDP Board of Directors and staff leadership in awarding grants. This advice will help CDP maximize the impact of donor generosity that recognizes the full life cycle of the disaster.

Grant committee members include:

Committee Chair: Lori J. Bertman, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge- based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation. Lori is the co-founder and chairman of the board of CDP.

John T. Cooper, Jr., Ph.D., is the Assistant VP of Public Outreach and Partnership at Texas A&M University. He has an extensive background in disaster long-term recovery, especially as it relates to community resilience, and has previously directed the FEMA-funded Emergency Preparedness.

CDR Elizabeth Hastings is the Texas Federal Health and Social Services Recovery Field Coordinator, Office of Emergency Management, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

Kelli King-Jackson is the Senior Program Officer for The Simmons Foundation, a private foundation located in Houston and focused on education, health, civic & community, and human services. She brings more than 15 years of experience working in nonprofit advocacy.

Damian Morales is the Disaster Services Manager for the OneStar Foundation, where he works to support Texas resiliency. He also serves as the chair of Central Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

Rey Ocanas is based in Houston and serves as the Executive VP and Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation for BBVA Compass. He also oversees the bank’s corporate foundation.

Bob Ottenhoff, President and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy


New grantees will be posted as additional grant funds are awarded.

OneStar Foundation was awarded $50k grant to add an additional staff member to their disaster services program with work dedicated to supporting long-term recovery efforts across the state of Texas. The new staff member has been hired and is currently working to support training and stand-up of long-term recovery groups.

Impact Stories



Take Action

The CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund allows donors to give now to support recovery needs that continue long after the media and public have moved away from this disaster. Please consider supporting the long-term recovery of those most in need.


For more information or for additional assistance, please contact:
Sally Ray
Director, Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund
(405) 831-2245

Relevant Resources