How Well Would Your Business Survive?

Published: 2008-06-26
Last Updated: 2008-06-26 02:15:42 UTC
by Deborah Hale (Version: 1)
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Well a month has passed since my State - the wonderful State of Iowa, began to receive some of the worst hammering from Mother Nature that we have ever seen.  It started out with Tornado's taking out whole town's at the end of May to the floods taking out towns and a large section of Cedar Rapids in June


It just so happens that I was in Cedar Rapids the first week of June.  I spoke at a State Conference - Safeguard Iowa Partnership and then on to Des Moines where I spoke again.  Little did I know that just days later I would wake to hear that a large section (reported 1200 square blocks) of downtown Cedar Rapids was under water and that the Des Moines area was facing many problems due to high water and over flowing rivers and creeks.  The week before while I was in Cedar Rapids, I went to visit one of my vendors who was located in the downtown area.  They were in a building that had a bank branch on the main floor and their offices occupied the 2nd floor of the building. 


I finally was able to get in touch with them last week.  I asked them how they had faired the flood and they said they hadn't faired well.  They were advised to move out of their facility so they began moving things to higher ground, employee’s homes, etc.  He said that their building ended up under water.  He said that the first floor was completely under water and that they had about 1.5 feet of water in the office area on the second floor.  Now I want you all to close your eyes, and picture a building in your city that is 4 or 5 stories tall.  Imagine that building (with high ceilings) completely under water to the 2nd floor.  We have a building here in the city that I live in that is almost identical to the bank building in Cedar Rapids. I can not imagine the devastation that my fellow Iowan’s are feeling on the other side of the state.  The section of downtown that they were located in had many small businesses, really charming little pubs and restaurants.  They are all gone, under water, building uninhabitable and homes gone. My heart goes out to them.


Iowa is a small state by most people’s standards.  We have a total of 99 counties.  Of those 99 counties 84 have been declared a disaster area by the Governors’ Proclamation and 76 of those counties have received Presidential Proclamations.  We, in my part of the state, have been very fortunate.  Other than the tornado that destroyed our Boy Scout Camp and took the lives of 4 of our finest (Boy Scouts) we have dodged the bullet, but we have felt the pain that the rest of the state has felt.


We don’t have a final accounting of the financial costs to the state and it may be a long time before we know for sure.  However, the news tonight indicated that the loss expected just to the corn and soy crops is estimated to be 3 billion dollars.  Add to this the loss of resources, possessions, businesses and homes and you would think that the great people of Iowa would be ready to just pack it in.   But we aren’t, we are all pitching in, doing whatever needs to be done to make the recovery possible.  And our emergency personnel, Army and Air Guard units and responders, though very tired, have hung in like troopers.  They have made all the difference.


So why am I including this in the diary at the Internet Storm Center?  Really for 2 reasons, one to update those who have asked, those who are concerned.  The second reason is to remind everyone, it is not “IF it happens - it is WHEN it happens".  Your business may never face the magnitude of destruction that we are dealing with, but without a plan, any destruction can mean the end of your business.  Plan for the future - how will your business go on, how will you continue to operate, where will they operate, and what resources will be needed.


If you would like to see photo’s or find out more information about what we are doing and how our recovery is going, check out our websites at and You will find information about our recovery efforts.


To my fellow Iowans I say “I am proud of all of you, proud of your resiliency and your determination”.  We will rebuild, and we will recover and be stronger and closer for having been here.










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