No matter who we are, it's likely that sometime in our lives we have faced some kind of storm that has affected us. Whether it meant we had difficulties or could not get to work, or if a storm has stranded us in the middle of nowhere, the fact is that disasters happen - it matters most how we react.
When it comes to severe storms, businesses can face double the damage, both in lost wages and in property damage. This recent storm in Stafford, TX is a prime example:
Winds ripped up multiple greenhouses at Weatherford Farms Nursery and the entire front facade of Yukon Glass was blown out. Part of the ceiling also caved into the showroom.
Employees watched in amazement as a rear wall collapsed at Dee's Plumbing on Cash Road. They were also concerned that the roof was going to blow off.
Stafford, Texas - KHOU 11 viewers sent in photos of storm damage after severe weather moved through Houston and surrounding areas on Valentine's Day 2017.
"We're just fortunate. Material can be replaced, so we're just happy nobody was hurt," said Eddie Kutach with Dee's Plumbing.
Cleanup has begun in the area. Stafford Police and others are advising people to stay out of the area as a lot of debris still needs to be cleared.
And while yes, storms like this can be tough on anyone, they are literally nothing compared to tornados, which can of course be absolutely monumental in terms of damage. Louisiana, as a prime example, has experienced some absolutely killer ones:
In some areas, homes that were rebuilt after Katrina were damaged or destroyed by Tuesday's tornado. Yoshekia Brown was one such example; her home was destroyed by the monster hurricane, and on Tuesday, three-fourths of her New Orleans East home collapsed, according to the Associated Press.
"I lived in between two blighted properties. One of those would have been gone before my house," she told the AP. "It's just gone. Like the movie Twister."
The tornado also left damage to NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility and the USDA's National Finance Center's Primary Business Center. The buildings are located adjacent to one another in Michoud.
NASA said Wednesday that its facility remains closed while security and emergency operations crews assess the damages. There was some electrical damage to a substation at the building where major hardware is welded for a rocket designed to explore deep space.
Of course, the positive side of storms that damage businesses and homes are the fact that no matter what, there are companies that can help you. An Emergency tree service like this one, as an example, can help any company or homeowner to move a large tree from their building or property. These services can be absolutely critical in an emergency, as old trees tend to be almost immovable for regular people when they fall and damage property. It's a tough deal, for sure, but experts like this can be major when you're in a bind that a storm has created.
Business Data Is Huge
What can actually be worse for many companies, and even worse on top of that for regions that are not really familiar with the kind of large scale floods that tend to take place in the Midwest:
The potential flooding comes as California begins to emerge from its historic, drought. But despite the overabundance of water on the surface, drought conditions underground have likely had a permanent impact on the state. Even under the best conditions, it could take half a century for underground reservoirs to refill.
Recent analysis from the California Institute of Technology shows that drought — combined with water use — has caused parts of California to sink, perhaps permanently. Some places show up to two feet of subsidence over the past two years.
That’s because as surface water from rain and snowmelt has decreased, farmers have been using more groundwater from reservoirs.
“Subsidence caused by groundwater pumping in the Central Valley has been a problem for decades,” write the authors of a new study, which uses NASA data to track California’s sinking.
Pumping groundwater reduces the support below-ground aquifers give to the surface, causing it to sink. In recent years, that process has been sped up, as California’s drought has reduced the surface water available to farmers. While surface water can come in the form of rain, or snowmelt, groundwater sits in aquifers and is the result of a slow build up of water below ground.
When companies lose assets, it's tough and they may have to replace them quickly, even though their insurance companies may take some time to process a claim. Data loss, meanwhile, can be all but catastrophic. Irvine's Hard Drive Recovery Associates is one of the major players when it comes to disaster relief and water damaged server recovery in the state.
"One of the things entrepreneurs rarely think about is what they will do with their computer systems in case of a major event like a storm or fire," says Jack Edwards, Marketing Director at HDRA. "One of our key jobs is to help business owners plan for disaster, which means they don't have to pay us for server recovery once something bad happens."
If you are a business owner, it's very likely you don't have a plan for a catastrophic storm. Well, get on it. Planning now can mean absolute peace of mind if the worst ever does happen.
Storms: The Sneaky Killer Of Business Growth is available on HDBizBlog