During his first, brief Texas trip to give assurance that the federal government was ready to offer whatever assistance was needed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and its floods, President Donald Trump expressed confidence that the crisis would be met. He predicted that five or ten years from now people will say that what was done after Harvey was the right way to do it.

But will the feds really do it the right way, with the resources that a truly great disaster will demand?  The damage done in Houston and elsewhere surely requires immediate federal aid. But Harvey and its floods, as catastrophic as they were, do not compare with the great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, nor with Hurricane Katrina a century later, in terms of human suffering or property loss.

In 1906, the army stepped in promptly, establishing massive refugee camps and sending train loads of food and other desperately needed assistance to San Francisco. The army was for San Franciscans the early Twentieth century equivalent of today’s FEMA.

Californians know that there will be another great quake, What they should be asking now is whether the federal government’s action in aiding flood-ravaged Houston will set a positive precedent for the relief this state will need sometime in the future.

For relief after Harvey. congress will quickly pass a relief bill, running well over a hundred billion dollars. But any legislation must take into consideration the mistakes  made in aiding New Orleans after Katrina. Aid yes, but not a Christmas tree full of unwarranted gifts.

Already the numbers are mounting: a quarter billion dollars for school districts, millions more for public safety and medical facilities. But in their zeal to aid the destitute and restore the infrastructure, how much will be for projects unrelated to the current disaster?

For the consideration of the president and congress as they prepare what almost amusingly will be called a “bail-out” bill for the flood damaged area, here are questions stemming from the mistakes of Katrina that must be addressed before offering funds that will probably dwarf the $100 billion that went to Louisiana:

* Will homeowners who chose not to buy flood insurance receive government aid?

* Will those who bought  flood insurance be reimbursed promptly,, but only for flood damage?

* In the recovery after Katrina, federal small business loans were eventually forgiven, but homeowners with federal emergency loans are still paying them off. What will the forgiveness policy be in Harvey?

* Will federal aid pay for infrastructure already in disrepair, such as failing levies, bridges, decaying dams, potholed roadways, and other portions of the infrastructure that are in need of repair? Will they  be rebuilt with federal funds?  * Will recovery after  Harvey be a contractor’s cash cow as it was following  Katrina?

* Will the state and the impacted local governments pony up the money to cover part of the infrastructure repairs?

* How much will the rest of Texas pay toward recovery in the devastated area?

* If Texas pays a portion of the cost of cleanup and repair after Harvey, which state agencies will feel the pinch?

* Louisiana cut state taxes a few years after Katrina, not only in the affected area but elsewhere as well, raising questions about the need for continued federal aid. Will Texas promise not to do likewise?

* Will the relief and reconstruction money come from an increased federal debt, cuts across the board in all federal agencies, or will that target specific federal programs that the Trump Administration and a Republican congress would like to starve?

* U. S. foreign aid grants, military and civilian, far exceed the amount that recovery in Texas and elsewhere will cost. Will they be cut to pay for Harvey?

* Texas needs recovery funds, not a Trump Wall. Will money earmarked for any part of The Wall be redirected to recovery instead? Will The Wall’s cost be written into the Harvey recovery act?

There will be other Katrinas and Harveys. Whether attributed to global warming or the natural pattern of wind and ocean, they will occur. Perhaps this is the chance to do it right, as the president insists it will be done, and set a precedent for future calamities, whether hurricanes on the Gulf Coast or 7.0 earthquakes in California. But to handle the current crisis in Texas in such a way that will make future emergency management workers say that this was the way to do it, Trump and Congress need to give serious thought to the issues raised above.

Ralph E. Shaffer is professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly Pomona. reshaffer@cpp.edu