First it's shelter, then housing. Third on the hierarchy is infrastructure. Fourth is business.
Zakian and the
The county asked for this input because "it's more than just having insurance," said
"If we don't have businesses standing people back up and getting people employed ... we're going to be dead fruit on the vine," he said.
While Zakian and Reinig plan to put together a report summarizing their impressions, the
Being complacent isn't just an issue for residents, but for business owners, too.
"One of the challenges going forward ... (is) not to get misled into a comfort level because Irma did its infamous wiggle and missed you guys," said Zakian, who noted that he's also known as the "biblical plague expert," though he hasn't responded to locusts.
The key suggestions were that business owners should share emergency contact information with their employees and respective chambers and come up with a disaster recovery plan, even if they don't think they'll need it.
"A storm for them on a list of to-do's is down on 1,000," she said. "They do not take it seriously because the threat is not imminent in their face in the moment."
Business owners looking for assistance after a natural disaster may deal with the physical effects such as broken windows or damaged roof through a loan from the
"Don't ever sell yourselves short to drive the data you need to push up to state and federal agencies to make them aware of the need here," he said.
"They're going to be looking at who's crying the loudest," Reinig added.
Even so, relying on
"You're never going to get the money you need to fully recover," Zakian said.
Business professionals will have the chance to learn more about preparing and responding to a natural disaster at the third annual Business Recovery Expo entitled, "We survived Hurricane Irma in 2017 -- Are you ready in 2018?", hosted by
Representatives with the
"The goal of the Business Recovery Expo is to engage local businesses and to bring attention to the process of having a plan and being prepared,"
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