Hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, and even the occasional tornado are all too familiar for Houston residents. The close proximity of Houston to the bayou systems created almost unbearably muddy roads after a good, hard rain in the early days of the city until drainage systems were installed. Houston still has its fair share of floods, and hurricane season (June through November) serves as a perennial reminder that Mother Nature remains in charge.

In fact, storms such as Hurricane Carla, Tropical Storm Allison, and Hurricane Alicia are often significant events in their own right in the lives of many Houstonians. More recently, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike caused substantial damage to Houston and surrounding coastal areas, yet they also served as a reminder of the generosity of Houstonians and the city’s willingness to come together to help those affected by the storms.

For more information about disaster preparedness, download the City of Houston’s Disaster Preparedness Guide.

Featured Images:


Oral Histories:

“The folks of Houston were incredible. They came together in a way that still amazes people around the world, to see how a community could come together and embrace people in need…,
to meet that need and to be there for those folks.”
Judge Robert Eckels

Robert Eckels describes his experiences as former Harris County judge. He discusses politics in Harris County and in the city of Houston, as well as his involvement in handling the influx of the evacuees from New Orleans during hurricane Katrina, and storms aftermath handling in Houston and other cities in the county.



“This city did rise to the occasion, and it was neat to see it as a shining star when the country was watching the horrible event happen. I was proud to be a part of it”
— Michael Moore

Michel Moore talks about how he, as the city of Houston Mayor's Chief of Staff, his staff, and the city of Houston in general, handled the influx of evacuees from the city of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.



“Houston is an international city, and I think that is because of our tolerance and our welcoming of folks …
from all over the world that we are a great city.”
Rick Noriega

Richard Joel "Nick" Noriega was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1998. Since then he has served 5 terms in this capacity. During hurricane Katrina Mayor Bill White requested his help to oversee the evacuee shelter operations at the George Brown Convention Center. In this interview, Rick talks about his career as well as Houston's and Texas' politics.



Featured Film Clips:


Orris Brown Film Collection,
1935 Flood of Houston

This film is also available at the Texas Archive of the Moving Image website.

KHOU-TV footage of Dan Rather covering Hurricane Carla, 1961
"By watching our early telecast, the public was by then well aware of the impending danger. These early warning efforts helped effect what is believed to be the largest peacetime evacuation in the history of the world. Well over 300,000 people along the 150-mile coastline moved to safety."
–Film clip narrator.


Additional Resources: