Florida’s 2004-05 Hurricane Seasons Caused More Than $70 Billion in Damage?

By: Melissa Roberts

When Hurricane Sandy struck the Mid-Atlantic region three years ago, the estimated loss in business activity totaled $19.9 billion. Imagine the effect on Florida’s economy if even a small percentage of Florida’s 2 million businesses were disrupted by a hurricane or superstorm.

With hurricane season underway, it is essential that Florida businesses have disaster preparedness and business continuation plans in place to avoid losses in productivity and ensure employee safety. Business interruptions like power failures, IT system crashes, loss of communications and supply chain problems can be devastating to companies without the right contingencies in place.

There are many resources available to help companies prepare for emergencies. The Florida SBDC Network assists small businesses with developing business continuity, emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plans to minimize losses and increase survivability. Florida’s 11 regional planning councils partner with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to provide hurricane evacuation plans and operational procedures to respond to weather threats.

“Disaster preparedness can make the difference between keeping the doors open and shutting down for an undetermined period of time,” said Carolyn Bermudez, Vice President of Operations and General Manager of Florida City Gas. “It’s crucial that business owners take advantage of Florida’s resources to prepare their organization, employees and suppliers for emergency situations.”