Monday, September 15, 2008

Recovering from Ike

It would be nice to say that this storm is behind us, but its impact will be with us for weeks or months to come. It is the most devastating storm that I have ever seen and its implications are far worse than I have ever experienced (Allison pounded me personally and was horrible for many, but won’t touch the impact of Ike).

Ike is strange. On Saturday I enjoyed the Internet and had water pressure. Now I am boiling water and using almost any means necessary to get information online. A day after writing this post I have full water pressure and the Internet. It is all very interesting. It is clearly a situation of two steps forward, one step back. This creates a sense of vulnerability that I had not felt just on Saturday. You want to feel as though you are only making progress. Storms such as this are not always so accommodating.

We were very fortunate in that we lived just a block or so from a hospital. Our neighborhood was a priority and we are not enjoying power. Most of my friends are without power and have no idea when it will return. Oddly, I actually feel a little guilt. Don’t worry, I will get over it, but it is life after a hurricane.

The long term economic implications are going to be significant. Everyone whose business is Houston has customers at various levels of stability. We are better off than most, but we are only as well off as our weakest clients. We are going to be limping along like our customers.

I have lived in the Houston area since 1990. Since that time the benchmark of a major Hurricane had always been Elisha from the early 1980s. Now people say it is the biggest one since Carla (from the early 1960s), which means Ike will become the most common benchmark. When people in the Houston area talk about “the big one,” it will be Hurricane Ike.

Kevin Price articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media.

Kevin Price is Host of the
Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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Anonymous Jim said...

Wow, your second article on Ike is sobering compared to the first. Any particular reason why?

11:30 AM  

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