Hardin County Strong was formed through the vision of County Judge Wayne McDaniel
to serve our county's disaster-impacted community.
In 2005 Hardin County was greatly impacted by Hurricane Rita, and again in 2008 by Hurricane Ike. Following these storms there was not an organized recovery effort dedicated to serving our impacted community, or one made up of local individuals, organizations and businesses committed to working recovery long term.
Recovery was slow, frustrating, and because there wasn't an organized team to refer survivors to
local resources and vetted assistance, many families never recovered or just walked away.
The widespread devastation of Hurricane Harvey created the need for a team of people dedicated to the same mission - LONG TERM recovery work here at home. Recovery is hard and navigating through the paperwork, documentation processes, and reconstruction of a damaged home is an overwhelming process. You can imagine how difficult this can be for those without insurance coverage, proper tools/technology or general "know how." Judge McDaniel brought in trusted recovery industry specialists to help us understand the importance of a local community recovery effort, then train us on best practices. Hardin County Strong was blessed to be trained by the very best recovery leaders from across the United States. We made a commitment to follow through and serve our disaster-impacted community for the long haul.
Hardin County churches were the frontline workers that quickly responded to our communities needs during and after Harvey. Our churches provided sheltering, hot meals, clothes, and immediately formed a network of construction volunteers to begin rebuild efforts. Hardin County Strong partnered with several churches and became familiar with the disaster-related needs of our community. We also partnered with Iconnect Outreach, a faith-based organization that formed in response to Hurricane Ike and served disaster survivors in the Galveston area. Working together, we became a clearinghouse for all organizations and people with a desire to assist in the Harvey recovery effort. We worked to protect survivors from dishonest groups and provided information to help deter contractor fraud. We did outreach to pull in thousands of construction volunteers from across the country. We organized critical resources and rallied for the "Three M's" of recovery:
Money - Manpower - Materials
Hardin County Strong began Harvey recovery in early 2018 with over 500 cases. We completed and closed our last Harvey case in August 2020. Today we remain a sustainable long term recovery team and continue to serve our community through various projects and initiatves. Since Harvey, we have responded to Tropical Storm Imelda, the COVID crisis, Hurricane Laura and Winter Storm Uri.