TALLAHASSEE – Fifty six days until hurricane season starts, and local businesses are scrambling to get ready. They're going over their disaster plans and getting advice from the Red Cross. They hope it helps avoid an economic crisis.
Local Red Cross leaders remember two years ago when Hurricane Katrina left the country's economy reeling.
"I would hope we'd be ready for anything that comes through," said Woody Douglas, an employee at Resource Managers Inc.
Douglas, along with more than a hundred other local business workers, received instruction from Red Cross workers. Their objective: avoiding an economic disaster.
"We want our businesses, our government agencies to stay functioning and stay in business so that they can continue to support our community," said Chris Floyd, who directed the Hurricane Business class.
Workers discussed everything from where to get sand bags to protecting computer files.
"If you've got contaminated water, what do you do with the bags afterwards," questioned Douglas. "So, we're still getting answers on that. So, it's been quite an eye opener this morning."
WCTV meteorologist Ray Hawthorne stood by to explain the inner workings of hurricanes. Weather forecasters predict a nasty hurricane season is likely to hit the Gulf Coast.
"You never know when something could happen," said Douglas. "It could be a tornado that could just drop out and get ya."
One-hundred and twenty businesses have graduated from this class, but there's about 8,100 business licenses in Leon County, so there's still work to be done. Those businesses still have time to come up with a plan, and if they want some guidance from the Red Cross, they'll be offering the course again in July.