No Time For Complacency

It has been 10 years since Hurricane Wilma wreaked havoc on South Florida.

That means there are plenty of newcomers here who haven’t been through a hurricane. Even those of us who went through Wilma may not understand the worst case scenario for a hurricane in South Florida.

The closest in recent decades was Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It was a Category 5 hurricane with speeds up to 165 miles per hour. I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help do some clean-up afterwards, so I got a first-hand view. New homes in the Country Walk subdivision had their roofs totally peeled away and the rafters tumbled like dominos. Across the street, I came across a couple who came back to pick through the remains of their mobile home. There were no walls left standing. At one point the wife poked through a cupboard on the floor and exclaimed, “Honey, look a can of peas!” Yup, that’s what was about left.

While Andrew devastated the area it hit, the impact could have been a lot worse. One reason has to do with its size. Compared to the sprawling Wilma, it was a relatively compact hurricane. Parts of Palm Beach County experienced worse weather with severe thunderstorms a few weeks later. Andrew also hit on the southern end of the region. I remember picking up the newspaper the day before and there was fear that it could hit at the Miami-Dade/Broward County line.

Our story in this issue looks at some of the worst case scenarios for a hurricane hitting the region. The potential for insurance claims is incredible The story is not meant to be alarmist, but falls under the saying of “he who is forewarned is also forearmed.”

A final note for this column is to congratulate Greenspoon Marder on 35 years of growth. I’ve known Co-Managing Shareholder Gerald Greenspoon for close to two decades, so I’ve had an up close work at what he’s has been able to accomplish. While I’m used to hearing news about the firm’s growth, but there has been an amazing wave of developments in the past year. Unlike some business leaders, Gerry isn’t one to crave the spotlight and ask for a cover story, actually not even a story at all in this case, but it’s certainly a story worth telling.

There was a great opportunity to meet his counterpart, Orlando-based Michael Marder, during the opening celebration for the firm’s Miami office. As you can judge from the story, Michael turns out to be every bit as impressive as Gerry.

You May Also Like

And Justice For All
July 20, 2020
Lessons learned
June 1, 2020
The era of retail-tainment
February 3, 2020
Don’t take cruise industry for granted

When you think of iconic South Florida industries, its hard not to put the cruise industry at the top of the list along with its broader family of the marine industry. According to Ship-Technology.com, PortMiami was the busiest cruise port in the world for 2017, handling 5.6 million passengers. That was followed by Port Canaveral

Innovation Central

“Innovate or die” is the mantra in today’s world of business. This issue offers an array of examples of the innovation percolating throughout the South Florida economy. But, first, let’s take a little walk down memory lane for a case study. In the mid to late 1980s, I was an assistant business editor at the

Up the River

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] To look at the history of the Miami River, is to look at the history of Miami itself. According to historian Jerald T. Milanich, the world “Miami” is a derivation from “Mayaimi,” which referred to the vast size of Lake Okeechobee. (Another interpretation is that Miami

The resilience of golf

I’ve read more than a few articles in recent years that have made me wonder about the future of golf, which is sometimes stereotyped as a game for stodgy old white guys. The story line is that the game is dying out because of changing demographics, such as kids playing video games instead of hitting

Other Posts

Boat show growth

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] The Marine Industries Association of South Florida likes to say the economic impact of the Greater Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is like having a Super Bowl each year. I might add after watching the New England Patriots play the Los Angeles Rams that it’s a

Affordable housing hits the crisis stage

A couple of weeks ago, the topic of affordable housing came up over lunch. I was appalled at what I learned. In South Florida, it’s become so bad that we are now in a crisis, leading the nation in the highest wage-to-housing discrepancy gap. More than half of our workforce cannot afford to pay their

South Florida is hedge fund heaven

A few months back, I was contacted by April Klimley, a financial writer who had relocated from New York City to Delray Beach. With a background of working for major banks in New York and writing for an array of financial publications, she was rapidly scoping out the size of the financial services industry in

New Generation

One of the things that comes with being a business journalist for so long in South Florida is you get to know multiple generations of family businesses. That’s the case with Jarett Levan, who is on the cover of this month’s issue. Jarett’s father, Alan, has been a familiar figure in the region’s business scene