The natural disasters of Texas played a central role in the development of state and federal disaster relief programs and agencies. Disaster relief efforts ranged from providing shelter and resources for displaced communities to rebuilding entire cities. Carla Barton, one of the founders of the American Red Cross, personally assisted in relief efforts following the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900. The city’s newly formed Central Relief Committee worked tirelessly with the reorganized municipal government to construct a seawall and raise the entire city by 16 feet. These two measures protected the Galveston coast from future hurricanes such as the Galveston Hurricane of 1915 and Hurricane Carla in 1961. Hurricanes in the 1960s such as Carla and Beulah led to the creation of the Federal Disaster Assistance Association, which influenced the later establishment of the Federal Emergency Management Agency by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Since then, Texas has worked with local, state, and federal agencies to provide relief funds to disaster victims and affected cities.

Disaster Preparedness