A Week of Fire and Rain – Colorado and NJ Fight Fires and Floods
The Worst Time to Stress Test Your Plans is in a Crisis – Fire and Rain
This week, we have seen devastating flooding in Colorado and the complete destruction of dozens of businesses in Seaside, NJ due to fire.
In the fire, flames spread rapidly along the boardwalk in Seaside Park and neighboring Seaside Heights, creating dark smoke that could be spotted from miles away.
The fire, which started around 2:30 p.m. on 9/12 near Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard shop on 1800 Boardwalk, destroyed at least 80 percent of the boardwalk in Seaside Park, according to Police Chief Francis Larken. More than 50 businesses in both Seaside Park and Seaside Heights are destroyed.
“This is obviously just an unthinkable situation…” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a press conference Thursday as the fire raged behind him. He said that when he first heard the news he told he staff ‘I feel like I want to throw up’ after all the work this area did to rebuild.
Firestorm associate Pam Mancuso in in Monmouth County, NJ said: “It’s horrible – such destruction to a town that was pummeled by Sandy. I know our volunteer firefighters along with other local towns were on call to cover Ocean County. Reports are saying it probably started under the brand new boardwalk (installed since Sandy). The planks were just tinder & kindling.”
NJ.com posted a list of businesses affected:
• Kohr’s Frozen Custard: The apparent epicenter of the fire.
• Park Seafood: On their Facebook page, the boardwalk seafood stop posted a picture with the simple caption “RIP.”
• Three Brother’s from Italy Pizza
• Kupper’s French Fries
• Jack-N-Bills Bar
• The Beach Bar: This business was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy last fall and had not yet reopened.
• The Carousel Arcade: This business had been demolished after Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012.
• Funtown Pier Amusements: This had been destroyed by Sandy and did not reopen.
• The Sawmill: On their Facebook page, the Sawmill reports they “are still standing, but need to make it through the night.” A previous post notes the popular bar and grill suffered damage.
• The Beachcomber:On their Facebook page, the bar and grill acknowledged it had suffered damage in the fire.
• Berkley Sweet Shop
• Marucas Pizza reports on its Facebook page “that our building has been damaged and potentially destroyed by the fire.”
• Big Hearted John’s
• The Crepe Hut
Water reached as high as first-floor windows in some parts of Boulder, a police and fire spokeswoman said. Dive teams were dispatched after cars were seen floating. Libraries, recreation centers and other Boulder facilities were closed, according to the city’s office of emergency management. Energy company workers were trying to restore power after several flood-related outages according to the emergency office’s website.
This morning, in a Twitter message from Kerry Jones, Meteorologist for NOAA/NWS – “Damage to a major fiber line in Colorado has resulted in a [communications] outage at NWS ABQ and other offices. KABX radar data impacted.”
Firestorm President Jim Satterfield: “First, every crisis is a human crisis. Even if your business location has not been damaged, your employees may be stranded or have been evacuated. Can you run your business without key employees and are you prepared to support them with remote work solutions as they recover? Next, your business may be in another part of the country, but a key supplier may be in the flood ravaged area. Roads are washed out, transportation has been re-routed. Do you have an alternate supplier? Can you handle delays? You may have key customers in the affected areas – has delivery been cancelled indefinitely? Can you operate without power?”
In Larimer County alone, the damage wrought by flash-flood waters to three key Larimer County highways could takes weeks, if not months, to repair.
For so many of the new wave of tech start-ups in Boulder, the idea of working remotely has definite advantages in a disaster; As detailed in an article on TechWorld, on Thursday afternoon, Dave DuPont, CEO of TeamSnap, was in a hardware store picking up a sump pump hose as he detailed, in a cell phone interview, the impact of the flooding. TeamSnap, an online service for organizing sports teams, has nearly six million users.
DuPont needed a hose for his flooded home basement. TeamSnap’s downtown office in Boulder is on the second floor and is dry, but he can’t say the same for that office building’s first floor and garage.
“We don’t have any capital equipment anywhere,” said DuPont, The Company relies on cloud providers for data services. TeamSnap also has employees located around the country who can help keep operations going,” he said.
“We’re uniquely position to be able to handle this thing quite well,” said DuPont. “That’s the way it is for most companies that do what we do,” he said of other Internet-based firms.
Now, Colorado officials fear a wall of water clogged with debris is cascading toward Boulder. Sirens shrieked overnight, warning residents along Boulder Creek to evacuate. “Do not cross Boulder Creek for any reason,” they warned.
If your business is in crisis, our Business Emergency Response Team can help. Without a plan, responding in a high-stress situation can not only make matters worse, it can be dangerous to you, your family, your employees and others. Let us help. Call 770.643.1114 to speak to someone immediately.