The recent unexpected weather events, including Southern California’s extremely rare Hurricane/Tropical Storm Hillary and the simultaneous Ojai earthquake, have left many small home businesses grappling with unprecedented challenges. In the face of such extraordinary circumstances, being aware of available resources and knowing how to act can make all the difference. This article outlines the resources and steps small home business owners in affected areas can take.
The Impact of Flooding and Loss of Power
The magnitude of Hurricane Hillary’s impact on Southern California was further exacerbated by extensive flooding and loss of power. Flash flood warnings were issued across regions, including Los Angeles, causing disruptions to daily life and business operations.
The flooding was severe enough to close major roads, including portions of Interstate 8, Interstate 10, Interstate 15, California State Route 14, and the Pacific Coast Highway, due to rockslides and water inundation. The floodwaters even entered Eisenhower Medical Center, although it did not impact operations there. In regions like Palm Springs and Coachella Valley, vehicles were submerged, leading Palm Springs to declare a local state of emergency. Water rescues were needed across the San Diego area, and a tornado warning was issued for Alpine and Descanso.
Loss of Power
The situation was further complicated by significant power outages, with more than 5,000 customers left without electricity, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Emergency response was hindered as 9-1-1 lines were down in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Indio, leading to a local state of emergency declaration in Indio. Flight operations were severely affected too, with at least 1,000 flights canceled and 3,700 delayed.
Implications for Small Home Businesses
These dire circumstances underline the critical importance of emergency preparedness for small home businesses. The widespread flooding could mean loss of property and essential documents, while power outages might halt operations entirely. Having a solid plan that includes safe document storage, backup power solutions, and connections with local authorities and community organizations can provide a lifeline during such unpredictable and large-scale disruptions.
Responding to Hurricane Hillary and the Ojai Earthquake
Both federal and state governments have specific disaster response programs for events like Hurricane Hillary and the Ojai earthquake.
- Immediate assistance
- Support tailored to the specific disasters
- Potentially overwhelmed by the scale of the events
- Documentation requirements
It’s essential to know what your insurance covers, especially during rare weather events like Hurricane Hillary.
- Flood Insurance: Protects against flood damage from hurricanes.
- Earthquake Insurance: Covers damage due to earthquakes.
- Targeted coverage for rare events
- Peace of mind
- Possible exclusion clauses
- High premiums
Additional Support Networks
Local support within the affected areas of Southern California can be invaluable.
- Local Business Associations: Networking and resources specific to the disasters
- Community Relief Funds: Financial assistance tailored to local needs
Online platforms may offer targeted support for businesses affected by Hurricane Hillary and the Ojai earthquake.
Disaster Relief Crowdfunding Campaigns: For financial assistance
- Localized Online Forums: Support and shared experiences within affected communities
The extremely rare occurrence of Southern California’s Hurricane Hillary combined with the simultaneous Ojai earthquake serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of emergencies. Small home businesses in the affected regions must navigate these unique challenges with flexibility and awareness of the available resources. Stay safe and I hope you recover any losses.