How do you help, when there’s nothing you can do to make things better?

Houston, TX during Hurricane Harvey. (Photo by Cristina Mandujano)

Houston, TX during Hurricane Harvey. (Photo by Cristina Mandujano)


It’s been just over a year since Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast. The Category Four storm devastated small coastal communities and dumped 51 inches of water in Houston. Harvey flooded over 200,000 homes and nearly burst major dams.

But that’s just the physical impact. Natural disasters can have deep emotional effects for us, too.

On this episode, Houston-based journalist Laura Isensee reflects on how powerless she felt to do anything useful during the storm. It’s a story that gives us an inside look at what it’s like to experience, and report on, a natural disaster, and about what happens when you feel like you’re incapable of helping the situation.

I think we all have an urge to rush to our loved ones when they’re in danger. We want to protect them. Help them. Do something to fix their problems. And that urge was especially strong for me just then. But I was totally at a loss.
— Laura Isensee

This episode sponsored by