Tag Archive for: Dan Crenshaw

High School Graduation Speech Everyone Should Watch

This is a bit off-topic for a flood blog, but it may give inspiration to those who have been devastated by flooding and are fighting to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw, a Navy Seal who lost an eye in Afghanistan, has posted a powerful 9-minute speech on YouTube that everyone should listen to. Even though he’s addressing graduating high school seniors, it’s a powerful reminder to older people of the core values that make us strong as individuals and a nation.

U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw and some words of wisdom to live by.

Crenshaw begins by asking a simple question: Will we be up to the task of meeting the challenges that life throws at us?

Seven Lessons to Live By

He then discusses seven principles that prepare you to deal with the inevitable curve balls that life throws at you. I summarize them below:

  1. Gain perspective. No matter what the challenge, others have had it harder.
  2. Choose your heroes wisely. Emulate the people who have inspired you. Use them as your roadmap to success.
  3. Shame is good. Not shaming others. But shame in the sense of holding yourself accountable to the person you want to be.
  4. Forget about Plan B. This doesn’t mean you can’t change direction. Quitting means settling on a version of yourself that you know could be better.
  5. Live with a sense of duty. Even when there may be no reward for doing the right thing, there’s no excuse not to do it.
  6. Be still. Emotional reactions to hardships chip away at your ability to persevere. So, stay calm.
  7. Embrace hardship. Find new ways to challenge yourself. Seek out hardship. It will make you better prepared to deal with those curve balls. Own your own destiny. Don’t let someone else dictate it for you.

An Ethos to Emulate

Crenshaw ends his speech with an allusion to the Navy Seal ethos. It’s not clear whether he’s quoting or adapting the Seal ethos at this point. But he sure is inspiring. Crenshaw ends with:

“I will not quit in face of danger or pain or self-doubt. I will not justify the easier path before me. I decide that all my actions, not just some, matter. Every small task is a contribution toward a higher purpose. Every day is undertaken with a sense of duty to become better than I was yesterday, even in the smallest of ways.”

“I seek out hardship. I do not run from pain, but embrace it. Because I derive strength from my suffering. I confront the inevitable trials of life with a smile. I plan to keep my head and be still when chaos overwhelms me. I will tell the story of my failures and hardships as a victor, not a victim.

“I will be grateful. Millions who have gone before me have suffered too much, fought too hard, and been blessed with far too little for me to squander this life. So I won’t.

“My purpose will be to protect and uphold the spirit of my great country, knowing that the values and freedoms we hold dear have been paid for with blood and can only be preserved by a strong people. So, I will do my part. I will live my life with fortitude.”

Words of wisdom. For everyone. Not just graduates.

Please take ten minutes to watch Congressman Crenshaw’s video with family and friends – before Memorial Day.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/21/2023

2091 Days since Hurricane Harvey

FEMA Group Flood Insurance from Harvey Expiring October 24

Harvey households with FEMA group flood insurance policies must buy standard policy by Oct. 24. Lack of coverage may affect eligibility for future disaster assistance.

Flooded Street by Julie Yandell. During Harvey.
Flooded Street during Harvey by Julie Yandell.

Three-Year Policies End in October

Approximately 6,690 Hurricane Harvey survivors have been notified that their Group Flood Insurance Policy (GFIP) will expire Oct. 24. These three-year policies end soon, so policyholders must plan now to switch to a standard flood insurance policy to ensure continuous flood insurance coverage.

Many people may not even know they have group flood insurance. FEMA provided the insurance to people awarded grants after Harvey and deducted the cost of the insurance from the amount of the grant.

Insurance a Condition for Future Disaster Assistance

Following the devastating disasters and hurricane season of 2017, FEMA purchased GFIP policies for thousands of disaster survivors whose homes were flooded. Part of the eligibility of receiving future financial assistance after a flood is that a homeowner or renter must obtain and maintain flood insurance to ensure that there is no lapse in coverage. If a property affected by a flood is sold, the new owners are required to have flood insurance for the property as well.

This means Harvey households who received a group policy need to purchase a new, standard flood insurance policy. Alternatively, they may obtain other flood insurance for at least the amount of assistance that they received for repairs and replacement of property. This keeps them eligible for future FEMA assistance. 

Those who received a GFIP policy as part of their FEMA disaster assistance after Harvey but don’t buy a standard flood insurance policy will likely not receive federal disaster assistance for home repairs if they experience another flood event. 

Flood Insurance Can Be Key to Recovery

Flood insurance policies are crucial to recover quickly following a flood event as homeowners and renters’ policies do not typically cover flood damage.

Additionally, flood insurance will pay claims regardless of whether there is a major disaster declaration. Flood insurance claims can be paid for such events as flash flooding, storm sewer backup, river overflow, storm surge, mudslides or tropical systems.

$69 Billion Paid by FEMA through NFIP

Since its inception in 1968, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program has paid more than $69 billion in flood claims to help survivors rebuild their lives following flood events.

How to Learn Your Status and Find an Agent

  • To find an insurance carrier or agent, visit FloodSmart.gov, or call FEMA NFIP Direct toll-free, (800) 638-6620, option 2.
  • For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program and or insurance, call the National Flood Insurance General Call Center at 800-427-4661.
  • If you have questions about your Group Flood Insurance Policy call the National Flood Insurance Direct Call Center at 800-638-6620.

To find out if you have a flood insurance requirement:

  • Call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS – Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585).
  • Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
  • The Texas Recovery Office GFIP Help Desk phone number is 877-503-6053.

If It Rains Where You Live, It Can Flood

Harvey impacted 41,500 square miles of Texas. If it rains, it can flood, which means all Texans should purchase or renew flood insurance policies. The 2020 hurricane season began June 1 and ends on November 30, but a policy protects you from financial losses from other flood events all year. Just 1 inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to a home.

For additional information about Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the:

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/28/2020 with thanks for the reminder to Congressman Dan Crenshaw

1126 Days after Hurricane Harvey

FEMA to Fund Additional Million Cubic Yards of Dredging from West Fork Mouth Bar Area

Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin announced today that FEMA will fund the dredging of an additional million cubic yards of sediment from the area around the San Jacinto West Fork Mouth Bar. The giant sand bar partially blocked the mouth of the West Fork during Harvey and backed water up. It contributed to the flooding of thousands of homes and businesses in Kingwood, Humble and Atascocita.

Only a skeleton of the above-water portion of the mouth bar remains. But water remains shallow on both sides of it. Note all the trees and little islands poking up between the bar and camera position. Photo taken 8/20/2020.

Ending a Three-Year Debate

The City and FEMA debated for almost three years about how much sediment Harvey deposited in the area between Kings Point and Atascocita Point. The disaster declaration following Harvey only allowed FEMA to fund dredging of sediment deposited by that storm, not to pay for any deposits there previously.

Back before Great Lakes removed its hydraulic dredge, the City commissioned TetraTech to determine the quantity. In April 2019, the City submitted TetraTech’s ninety-four-page report. Based on core sampling, TetraTech estimated that Harvey deposited approximately 1,012,000 cubic yards of sand/sediment. 

However, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) disputed the TetraTech’s conclusion. USACE pulled the Great Lakes dredge from the river on September 3, 2019, after dredging only 500,000 cubic yards from that area.

Now, FEMA has reversed course. It concurs with the City’s findings, thanks in part to Martin’s persistence. Martin is “elated” with FEMA’s ruling.

Before Dredging Can Begin…

Removal of this debris is pending:

  • Project identification in the Federal/State grant portal
  • Preparation of construction documents
  • Identification of disposal site(s)
  • Selection of the method of dredging
  • Cost estimates and construction bidding.

The City will finalize the timeline as it develops the documents above.

How Various Dredging Projects Add Up

FEMA’s initial Emergency West Fork dredging contract in 2018 resulted in the removal of 1,849,000 cubic yards of sand/sediment between US59 and the Mouth Bar. Subsequently, FEMA authorized removal of an additional 500,000 cubic yards near the Mouth Bar itself. That brought the total up to 2,349,000 cubic yards.

Subsequently, Martin, Senator Brandon Creighton and Representative Dan Huberty gained support from Governor Greg Abbott to provide a $50 Million grant for additional debris removal. Approximately $7 Million went to dredging the mouth bar land mass, a project which is still underway.

Huberty’s amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 500 set aside another $30 Million for Harris County for dredging at the confluence of the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston. The City is currently a sub-recipient of approximately $10 Million of those funds. Dredging will continue until the City exhausts the funds. According to Martin, the money should cover approximately 242,000 more cubic yards.

Then the FEMA money for the additional million cubic yards will kick in.

Said State Representative Dan Huberty, “After two years of showing FEMA the data, I am thrilled that we are allowed to continue this project due to the hard work of Mayor Pro Tem Martin and Mayor Turner. The funds we secured from the State during the last budget cycle to continue where FEMA left off are nearly depleted. This new funding source will let us complete this necessary and critical project. It is great news for our community. It also recognizes how important the Lake Houston Watershed is to our region.”

Other Lake Houston Dredging Projects

Approximately $10 Million of local funds are earmarked for the dredging activity within Lake Houston south of FM 1960. The City plans to coordinate with Harris County Flood Control District to utilize a portion of the $10 Million to remove the mouth bar obstruction at Roger’s Gully.

Rogers Gully Mouth Bar
Rogers Gully Mouth Bar

However, it won’t happen anytime soon. Based on the bond priorities pushed through Harris County by Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis, County funds will not be available until July 2021 at the earliest. And maybe not until March 2022.


Mayor Pro Tem Martin, Congressman Dan Crenshaw, State Representative Dan Huberty, State Senator Brandon Creighton, Texas Division Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd,  Mayor Sylvester Turner, and Chief Recovery Officer Stephen Costello have all worked together to make these projects happen.

Another view of the slowly disappearing San Jacinto West Fork mouth bar.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/21/2020

1088 Days after Hurricane Harvey

“Coffee Break with Dan Crenshaw” Will Discuss Flood Projects in Second Congressional District

U.S. Congressman Dan Crenshaw will host a webinar on Zoom this Thursday, May 21 at 10:00 a.m. His special guest will be Russ Poppe, Executive Director of Harris County Flood Control. The two will discuss preparedness for hurricane season and the status of flood damage reduction projects throughout the second U.S. congressional district in Texas.

The second district makes an arc around the north and west sides of Houston. So expect the discussion to cover more than just the Lake Houston area. Likely topics will include (but by no means are limited to):

  • Additional flood gates for Lake Houston
  • Addicks Reservoir
  • Houston Ship Channel
  • White Oak Bayou
  • Other local projects with shared Federal funding.

Attendees can ask questions online. Organizers have committed most of the time to answering those questions. The discussion should last 45 minutes, and in no case will exceed an hour.

Interestingly, Justin Lurie, the moderator, ran against Crenshaw in the last election.

You can join the webinar from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device.

Register by clicking this link.

Hope to see you online.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/19/2020

994 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Crenshaw Donates Perry Homes’ Campaign Contribution to First Baptist Flood Relief Fund

Today, rumors sprung up on social media about a campaign contribution from Perry Homes to Congressman Dan Crenshaw. Some people new that he had accepted the check from Perry Homes back in November of 2018. Most people did not know, however, what Crenshaw had done with it. A quick call to Sue Walden, a Crenshaw aid, cleared up the confusion.

Congressman Crenshaw talks with flooded Elm Grove residents shortly after the September 19th flood about where the water came from.

After touring the devastation in Elm Grove this week, Crenshaw did two things.

  • He called Perry Homes and told them “firmly” that they needed to fix the drainage in Woodridge Village so that Elm Grove residents did not flood again.
  • Crenshaw wrote a check for $2500 to the flood relief effort being sponsored by First Baptist Church of Kingwood. The amount of the donation matches the 2018 campaign contribution that Perry Homes made to his campaign.

I think this shows class, compassion, and integrity. It eliminates any appearance of a conflict of interest. It also helps the people who need it most, flood victims, rather than putting the money back in the hands of the people suing them.

If you can help, please donate at:


In the drop down box at top of the page, make sure you select, Flood Recovery Kingwood.

Posted by Bob Rehak

760 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 10 days after Imelda