Learning from Climate Change, from Hurricane Harvey to Winter Storm Uri
2:25 to 2:55pm| Tuesday, October 5th
In September 2017, Hurricane Harvey became the wettest storm on record in the U.S., dumping up to 60” of rain over four days. It caused the most devastating floods in Houston history, and no institution or area of the city escaped, including the Houston Zoo. The experience of the storm and its aftermath informed and strengthened the Zoo’s emergency preparedness in facilities, security, and animal collections care, defining an extreme for this Gulf Coast location. But we were wrong if we thought our planning for weather emergencies was complete. Within four years, in February 2021, Winter Storm Uri became the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, when ice and snow led to widespread power outages and resultant food and water shortages. This session will examine the lessons learned from multiple and differing extreme climate events, and how we look forward to safe and resilient operations in the future.