On August 23rd, ironically on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a tornado hit the western Chicago suburbs and a micro burst swung through the northern suburbs where I live and work. By the time the storm had passed with its 70+ mph winds, Winnetka looked like a scene out of the movie, Twister. Nearly every third or fourth street was shut down due to fallen trees and crushed cars.
Being the bright, proactive venture capitalist, I had installed a backup battery on our sump pump in case power went out during a storm. It worked perfectly for the first 6 hours. Unfortunately, we lost power for over 2 days. Like with my portfolio companies, another lesson learned… Most of the North Shore of Chicago is going out and buying the propane driven generators for their houses albeit a bit late.
Having gone through a "gentle" version of a disaster, I can better appreciate what New Orleans went through two years ago. Basements are ruined throughout town due to fresh water, not the salt water that submerged much of the city for weeks. We had 70+ mph winds that ripped up trees versus the 175 mph winds that tore off roofs and destroyed buildings. And, we were out of power for a couple of days while they were down for months in some parts. It was quite a surreal 4 days for us but things have gotten back to normal pretty quickly. New Orleans is not so lucky, having gone from the 16th largest city in the US (nearly 500,000 people) to just over 220,000 today.
No global warming Mr Bush????