Southwest Florida Stands Resilient Post-Hurricane
Florida is no stranger to intense weather. A veteran of hurricanes, tropical storms, and other acts of Mother Nature, the Sunshine State remains resilient in ways that are truly impressive. From Governor Rick Scott’s swift and proactive execution of emergency preparations and services to the state’s power companies’ well-organized mobilization to quickly restore power knocked offline, our state bounces back like no other.
Hurricanes like Irma are surprisingly uncommon during the Atlantic Ocean’s annual hurricane period. In fact, before Irma, Florida hasn’t experienced a category 5 hurricane for 25 years. Fortunately, the state is far better prepared for such a storm now than we were in the early 90’s.
Despite the impact left behind by Irma, the vast majority of businesses in Southwest Florida are open, and life is returning to normal at a remarkable pace.
Beyond the state and local governments’ preparations and frequent updates, businesses throughout Southwest Florida were well prepared and implemented their own emergency plans. These efforts helped to ensure the safety of employees, the protection of business property, and the coordination of resources to get businesses up and running as quickly as possible.
Local Emergency Operations Centers, FEMA response teams, and generous assistance from other states helped to ensure a highly coordinated effort. Resources for business loans, employment services, and home repairs remain available to residents and companies throughout the region.
There is a certain measure of pride in how Southwest Florida’s local communities and economic development alliances come together to provide assistance with disaster recovery. With multiple organizations offering businesses financial and other disaster assistance post-hurricane, our companies can continue to grow and thrive.
And each time Florida has been impacted by a hurricane, we learn even more and become even stronger.
Hurricane Andrew is a good example. Following the storm, the Florida Legislature implemented stringent new building codes to help secure structures against high winds and other storm conditions, as well as a requirement for hospitals, supermarkets and gas stations to have generators. (Source: New York Times)
Residences are now commonly designed with hurricane-impact windows, hurricane shutters, and even hurricane-resistant roofs.
So for business owners and site selectors considering Florida for their next business location or headquarters, is there really much to fear?
“There is a reason why Southwest Florida continues to grow year after year. Hurricane season is nothing new to our area, and on the rare occasion we experience extreme weather, we are well prepared before, during and after,” said Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance President Eric Berglund. “Businesses have thrived in Southwest Florida and will continue to do so long after Irma.”