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Thursday, 22 November 2007 03:19

Winds of Change: Hurricanes Devastate Florida Businesses

Written by  Janette Ballman

Four hurricanes within six weeks have wreaked havoc on businesses across the state of Florida. From the panhandle to the southern tip, the state has been battered by four violent storms – leaving thousands of businesses damaged and owners scrambling to recover. Hurricane Charley hit on Aug. 13 on the western coast; Hurricane Frances came ashore on the eastern side Sept. 5; Ivan hit the panhandle on Sept. 16; and Jeanne smashed the already battered eastern coast on Sept. 26. Insurance experts are predicting more than $20 billion in losses from the four hurricanes, making this storm season one of the most costly ever. The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) is expected to distribute more than $8 billion in federal assistance, the largest the organization has ever spent for a natural disaster. Across the state, the rebuilding process is underway as numerous businesses recover from high winds, flooding, tornadoes and torrential rainfall. While damage