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Hurricane Harvey

New Book by Retired LSC-Kingwood President Looks at How to Respond to Disasters

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HOUSTON, TX – Hurricane Harvey left an indelible mark on the greater Houston area. In a four-day period, many parts of the city received more than 40 inches of rain causing catastrophic flooding which resulted in an estimated $125 billion worth of damage.

Overcoming Disaster What Colleges Learned from Catastrophe to Recovery Lone Star College
Dr. Katherine Persson, LSC-Kingwood President during Hurricane Harvey, provides insight into how the college was able to not only recover but thrive in her new book “Overcoming Disaster: What Colleges Learned from Catastrophe to Recovery.”

Located in one of the hardest hit areas, Lone Star College-Kingwood suffered extensive damage to six of its nine buildings from contaminated floodwaters, forcing the administration to completely revise the fall 2017 semester for the nearly 13,000 students enrolled.

Dr. Katherine Persson, LSC-Kingwood President during the storm, authored a new book shedding insight into how the college was able to not only recover, but thrive after Hurricane Harvey. Overcoming Disaster: What Colleges Learned from Catastrophe to Recovery takes readers through the extraordinary efforts LSC-Kingwood administrators, professors, and staff undertook to stay focused and on track to help students complete their semester and the next year and a half while facilities were being reconstructed.




“While the book focuses on higher education responses to tragic events, the lessons learned can be applied to any business or organization,” said Persson. “While many resources are available on how to prepare for a disaster, very little has been written on what to do after a disaster, let alone what it takes to recover from such horrible events.”

In addition to examining the response to Hurricane Harvey, Persson also spoke with college leaders around the country about emergency situations their community faced. These included a school shooting at Umpqua Community College and the complete loss of power and telecommunications at Gulf Coast State College, which was decimated by Hurricane Michael.

“Dr. Persson demonstrated exceptional leadership during Hurricane Harvey,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC Chancellor. “This book is a must read for anyone in a decision-making position on how to prepare an organization before, during and after disaster strikes.”




Overcoming Disaster: What Colleges Learned from Catastrophe to Recovery can be purchased at All proceeds benefit Lone Star College Foundation.

“My wish is that this book will provide guidance and insight on how to navigate the many difficulties both employees and organizations will go through in trying to recover from such devastation,” said Persson.

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Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 93,000+ students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and has been named a 2021 Great Colleges to Work For® institution by the Chronicle of Higher Education and ranked 35th in Texas in the Forbes ‘America’s Best Employers By State’ list. LSC consists of eight colleges, seven centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence and Lone Star Corporate College. To learn more, visit