The survey is designed to answer four general questions:
How did Hurricane Harvey affect the finances of local businesses? Questions in this section of the survey focus on the direct losses caused by Harvey, such as property damage and business interruption, as well as financing to recover from the storm. Recovery financing includes the firm’s insurance coverage and payments it received, bank loans, other credit, government assistance, or personal resources of the owner(s). We want to understand the direct effects of Harvey and the ways in which firms paid for recovery.
How did firms’ experiences during Harvey affect their risk perceptions of future severe storms? Questions in this section assess how businesses now perceive their risk and if their perceptions have changed a result of Harvey. We want to understand how a firm’s losses described in (1) affect its risk perception.
How did firms’ experiences affect their strategies for managing future events? These questions examine whether businesses are changing their risk management strategies in response to Harvey. For example, are affected businesses more likely to insure, invest in risk mitigation, diversify, etc.? We want to understand how both loss experience in (1) and risk perception in (2) influence a firm’s willingness to change strategies.
How do firms’ characteristics affect their strategies for managing future events? These questions examine characteristics of businesses and their owners that may explain differences in how businesses are responding to Harvey. For example, previous research indicates that startups are less likely to insure than more established businesses, but does not determine why. We want to clarify why businesses with similar experiences during Harvey may respond differently.
Once the survey is complete, we will compile a report of the results. That report will be distributed to the local organizations that partnered on the study and to any participants who requested an emailed report. We will also post the report on this website.