A business advisor from New Orleans will share some of the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina with business owners in eastern Iowa this week. Brian Baudean with the organization ActionCOACH , says he definitely sees the similarities between the 2005 disaster in New Orleans and the flooding this year in Iowa.
"You’ve got people that have homes devastated, you have businesses devastated…it is almost like Katrina," Baudean said. He hopes to help some Iowa business owners when he speaks this Friday at an event in Cedar Rapids. Baudean says the businesses that survived Katrina were the ones that re-opened right after the storm.
"They got in and did what they had to do to get their doors open," Baudean explained. "Now, some businesses opened in diminished capacity, but they were open and were able to service their customers. Some businesses changed their focus on what they were doing and adapted to the situation."
For example, Baudean says many restaurants reduced their menus to just a few items and sold hamburgers to construction workers on the street. He says one of the first things an owner of a flood-damaged business should do is hire an independent insurance adjuster.
"Insurance is such a complicated animal that you need someone on your side," Baudean said. Baudean will speak on Friday at a business recovery summit hosted by Mount Mercy College and organized in part by the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free, but registration is required by calling 319-743-0642.