LA GRANGE — As Texas continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey, another hurricane season is beginning. According to Governor Greg Abbott, now is the time to prepare.
Abbott, DPS, FEMA and other emergency response agencies sat down to discuss the state's readiness for any future storms.
“We are ready and we are taking steps on a daily basis to make sure that we will be available to address any challenge that will come our way,” said Abbott.
However, 10 months after Hurricane Harvey, the flood victims of La Grange continue to work on cleaning up and rebuilding.
Don and Dee Haywood lived in the mobile home park where more than 170 homes were destroyed.
"We went to my sisters and we were going to stay a couple of nights. We figured if anything it would just be a little bit of water and then we would go back home,” said Dee Haywood.
The water got up to their roof. The sight was a shocking revelation for the Haywoods.
"To open your door and see the reality of your kitchen is in your living room, your living room is in your kids bedroom,” said Don Haywood.
"It wasn't my choice to leave, it was like that decision was made for me,” said Dee Haywood.
For 10 months, the Haywoods have been living with family. They are living day to day, just trying to get through everything. Dee was unaware it would take this long to recover.
"I thought a couple months and then we'll, I thought for sure by Christmas or right after Christmas,” said Dee Haywood.
They've purchased a piece of land -- making sure it's out of the flood zone -- and are waiting to move a mobile home there.
"Rebuild, you know start over, I'm glad I don't have to do it by myself,” said Dee Haywood.
Thankfully, the Haywoods have not only each other, but also the Fayette County Disaster Recovery Team.
Kenny Couch is the executive director of the Fayette County Disaster Recovery Team and led many projects to bring families like the Haywoods back to their feet. But there is still a ton of work to do.
“We've completed a lot of recovery projects, a lot of repair projects. We've built two new homes, but there's still at least over 100 families who don't have safe permanent housing to call home,” said Couch.
Couch said many of those people in need are living with family and friends, in FEMA trailers, or even in hotels.
"Some of those are being paid for by FEMA, some of those are cheaper than our current rental market we had housing availability issues before the storm. So when we lost almost a quarter of our housing stock, those issues really rose to the surface very quickly,” said Couch.
Volunteers with the Fayette County Disaster Recovery Team are working to build a new 23-acre development called Hope Hill. It will have 75 homes, a park, and a community building -- all out of the flood plain.
"These families don't really know where they're going to go after that to be safe. We could rebuild them back in the flood plain, but it just seems like a really wasteful use of all the money coming into the community, to set it up for failure again," said Couch.
Officials with the Fayette County Disaster Recovery Team said they always need volunteers and donations.
"We've had thousands of volunteers, we've had probably at least 10 thousand volunteer hours,” said Couch.
If you want to donate, check out their website here.