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How Experiencing a Hurricane Relates to Business Operations

I spent this past Wednesday and part of early Thursday morning at the whims of a hurricane. Having moved to Central Florida about 18 months ago, I was moving home from living in the Midwest for 18 years. So, this wasn’t my first hurricane, nor will it be my last. But there was a decided difference in how I was able to survive this hurricane.

It was because of data. Weather data. Research that can now track a storm, its intensity, its wind speeds, and its possible landfalls. It’s not a perfect science, but that’s the intention of science; keep working until it can be perfected. Because of weather data and the tools that collect this data, I was able to take appropriate measures to protect my property, decide if I was going to stay or evacuate, and if I stayed, I knew what I was in for. 

I decided to stay as the storm data and track at the time (Tuesday) said I would be impacted by a Category 1 or 2 storm with sustained winds in the 70-90 range. I took that data and evaluated it against what I knew was the structure of my house, (cement block), the year it was built (2021…well after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 that spawned a whole new list of building codes in Florida), and my hurricane kit and preparation (canned food, propane for my grill, batteries powered lights, fans, ice, cash envelope and all important docs on a secured site in the cloud available to me via my phone app) so I believed I was ready. 

The storm approached early Wednesday morning and I could see the outer bands swirling over my house albeit the storm was hours away from me near Fort Myers. By 2 p.m., as predicted by the weather data I was watching on the local news, the gusty winds began to blow from the east to west signifying the top part of the hurricane. By 5 p.m. the electricity and internet went out and my data lifeline was gone. With only one bar, I had to text my sister on the West Coast of Florida and my daughter in North Carolina to get storm updates. 

I treasured those updates as the storm howled on for hours. As it got dark, it got truly scary listening to the wind gusts of 100+ come over the house. Each hour my extended family would send a text with what data they could pull off the internet about the location and status of the storm. Those texts of current data helped me make decisions on when I could let my dogs out for a quick pee, which windows to stay away from, and when I may need to get to my interior safe spot (my bathroom) if a tornado erupted. Life-saving data.

By 3 a.m. the storm had passed my house and all was still. I was very lucky and very grateful. But the point is it was the use of data that helped me prepare, plan, and ultimately survive the storm. 

As business owners, the collecting of data in your day-to-day operations is very crucial. It could be the life or death of your business. I have encountered so many business owners who are frustrated by the chaos within their operations and it is a mystery to understand if the business can survive. Like hurricanes, there are storms always on the horizon of a business, but without the reliance on great data to base sound decisions, business owners are left with more debris to clean up.

Specialized Office Support and Zephyr Business Coaching now offer coaching frameworks and operational system implementation for your business to properly gather your daily data and keep track of it. The right tools to solve the right problems. Keeping data at your fingertips and safe in the cloud. We are business “researchers”, trying to perfect the science of your business. Like those text messages in the pitch black to keep me sane until the storm passed, your business data can give a business owner confidence they are on the right track to weather any storm.

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