hurricane irma effect on business

As most of you know, I live down in “sunny” Florida. Actually, I grew up in St. Petersburg and prior to getting married moved up to Port Richey in Pasco County. I’m sure most of you are also aware of Hurricane Irma and its impact all around the state of Florida. Before going into today’s update, I want to ask for your prayers during this time. If you have the means and the inclination, I also ask that you consider a donation to whatever charity is donating to Irma relief efforts. I personally recommend The Red Cross, but that’s entirely up to you.

Anyways, this blog isn’t about disaster relief, so let’s get to the reason for this post. Yesterday (and tomorrow) you’ll find that my usual blog posts are missing. I promise to resume posting next week on schedule, but for now I wanted to give you a quick update.

Irma’s Impact on Pasco

Irma did a number on many Caribbean Islands. Many people have lost their homes and some even lost their lives. The devastation will definitely take time to recover. Many in the Florida Keys, Marco Island, and Naples all took significant impacts as well. And, those living in Miami faced some serious flood waters.

As she moved north, she did take a very fortuitous turn for everyone in Pinellas and she weakened enough that they got a “reprieve.” Despite that, she still knocked down her share of trees and power lines and caused a good deal of property damage. She also knocked out power for many and internet for many others. In fact, Duke Energy reports that 450,000 households in Pinellas County have no power, which is quite a substantial amount considering the population of the entire county is only around 1.2 million.

From what I’m seeing, Pasco county got it even worse. Specifically, west Pasco had heavier winds and more flooding. Again, this is far from a complete overview, but I wanted to set the scene.

Resuming Regular Business

So, here’s my deal.

I was in a mandatory evacuation zone and stayed with family during the storm. My wife and I are both safe and uninjured. All of my immediate family are also uninjured. There is nothing but minor damage to our homes.

However, I don’t have power. It could be out for a week or more. And, once it’s back, I don’t know for sure whether I’ll have internet access. Fortunately, I have options for internet access with a family member. It’s not exactly an ideal work environment, but I’m able to get things done.

This week, I’m going to be doing what I can with local cleanup and helping those I can. I’ll also be doing what work I can without regular internet access. Whether I have regular access or not, I will make sure to return to my regular blog schedule next week. Other than that, I have to play it by ear as for when I’ll be returning to full capacity. I promise to keep you updated.

To All Current Clients

Finally, I’ll be sending an email to my current clients to talk about ongoing work. As you know, my team is almost entirely made of remote workers. Situations like this are just another reason why I recommend any web-based company to consider following this sort of business model -having remote employees means less potential interruptions in case of outages, disasters, or other unpredictable events.

It’s disheartening to hear about tragedies like this on the news. I remember just a week ago being focused on hurricane Harvey victims in both prayers and in financial giving. And now, it’s sobering to be in an area impacted by something like this. When I evacuated my home, I had to acknowledge that I might not come back to anything. Fortunately, the storm was weaker than anticipated and changed paths during the late game to help mitigate that impact. But, not everyone was so fortunate.

As I started this post, I want to end with a request. Please pray for all those affected and donate to relief efforts if you can (and feel so inclined). I’m safe and business will go on, but many unfortunate families cannot say the same.

Stay safe, and stay blessed. If you were in Florida and more affected by this event, please let me know if there is any way I can serve.