Lessons from Irma
By Roamy R. Valera, CAPP
Irma was the scariest storm South Florida has faced since Hurricane Andrew. Our family is blessed the eye wall missed us by 90 miles. I received a text from a friend suggesting I scratch major hurricanes from the bucket list; I replied that I’d done that four or five times before and it didn’t work!
What we learned from the storm is that technology is a wonderful thing. We were able to prepare and assess evacuation and shelter plans with ample time. The local parking industry was no exception to this phenomenon. Many municipal operations opened their parking garages to residents for vehicle storage during the storm, helping save community members from further property damage in areas where potential flooding and/or storm surge is inevitable.
We learned a few lessons about avoiding confusion in this process:
- Detail specifics for qualifications of the program.
- Implement policies that exclude commercial enterprise (car dealers) from taking a significant percentage of the spaces.
A good program to follow is the Miami Parking Authority’s Miami Vehicular Program.
Every storm preparation and anticipation is different and we all learn something new every time we go through the drill of preparing for a storm. My lesson is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
All of us at IPI send our thoughts and support to those cleaning up after Irma and Harvey. Please get in touch and let us know how you’re doing and how the rest of us might help. Be safe!
Roamy R. Valera, CAPP, is CEO of NewTown Advisors, LLC, and chair of IPI’s Board of Directors.