Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Study: Bay area business not prepared for hurricanes

Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal

As the 2005 hurricane season rolls in, nearly one out of four businesses in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area are not prepared for disasters or believe that preparation is a priority.

Even in the face of heavy damage from last year's hurricanes, 24 percent of companies do not have a business continuity plan in place, according to a report issued today by Bedminster, N.J.-based AT&T and the International Association of Emergency Managers.

"Disaster Planning in the Private Sector: A Post 9/11 Look at the State of Business Continuity in the U.S." surveyed 100 senior technology executives with direct business planning responsibilities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.

Nationally, more than 1,500 executives from companies with more than $10 million in annual revenues have been interviewed, representing a broad cross section of industries and markets, a release said.

In the Tampa-St. Petersburg survey, more than a quarter were directly hit by a hurricane, and 12 percent of those surveyed suffered losses of more than $1 million a day. Hurricanes Charlie, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne led to a record 1.6 million insurance claims with an estimated gross property loss of $22.8 billion, teaching many companies the hard way the necessity of planning for the unexpected. In fact, 26 percent of the Florida businesses surveyed reported being hit directly by a disaster.

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