I just came back to Dallas, TX after a weekend meeting with the INFORMS Meetings Committee and the local conference planning committee in Phoenix, AZ to plan for the 2018 Annual Meeting. Obviously the 2017 Annual Meeting, scheduled for Houston, TX in less than two months, was heavily on our minds, with images of heart-breaking, staggering flooding on the news. INFORMS has been through a similar situation before, when the 2005 annual meeting that was supposed to take place in New Orleans, LA had to be moved to San Francisco. We haven't had a chance to go to New Orleans again, which also means that we - the ultimate problem-solvers - never got around to, as a community of thousands of experts, helping New Orleans get back on its feet. (I'm sure there must have been isolated researchers over the years who have been involved with New Orleans's renaissance efforts.)
Today I hope that we can still have the annual meeting in Houston (on its webpage the hotel says it currently remains open and operational with limited services available), and use the annual meeting for special events or discussion with local authorities on how operations research, management science and advanced analytics, applied to logistics, health care, law enforcement or any other topic, can help Houston recover from this tragedy.