THE NEXT 45 DAYS
The next 45 days are the most important in starting the recovery for the City of Naples and Collier County.
CITY OF NAPLES SPECIFIC CHALLENGES INCLUDE:
A. The Floodplain Manager has left the city.
B. The Director of the Building Department has left the City.
C. Long time Streets and Storm Water Manager left several months ago.
D. Zero years of experience on City Council dealing with Hurricanes and Disaster Recovery.
E. History of long Council meetings and taking months/years to complete decisions on mayor projects (Beach Hotel, Beach Outfalls).
COLLIER COUNTY CHALLENGES:
A. The sheer magnitude of damage and needs
B. Key personnel vacancies
Decisions must be made quickly and materials ordered. Remember the huge area of destruction created by the storm. Every area that was damaged will be ordering
from the same vendors.
A. Unskilled workers will be in short supply and no longer will be working for minimum wages — think $25/35 OR MORE PER HOUR. This is the workforce
that will be tearing everything down so it can be rebuilt.
B. Skilled trades people will be even more in demand and there are fewer of them. They will command and receive much higher wages than before. Based on history, could be double wages. These are the ones who make everything look finished, or work (electricians)…
A. Dry Wall
B. Structural Items
C. Appliances, for instance water heaters — the state could need 25/50 thousand of them. Know any business that has that many? How long would it take to add
that number to normal production runs? Add A/C units, kitchen appliances and furniture, etc.
D. Sea Wall, Boat Docks and Marinas. Vessels not damaged need to be somewhere. Those damaged but able to be restored will need parts and skilled labor to repair.
E. Roofing materials and labor to install them. This is a partial list, but you get the point.
PEOPLE, THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ALL
A. Medical Professionals — Not all injuries are physical. The whole body of our citizens, especially children, will need care.
B. Ministers, Rabbis, Priests — Our well being and stress tolerance will be tested. Who better capable to calm the soul, reduce anxiety and instill a sense of hope?
C. Spouse — A strong one brings support and understanding. They are there when needed the most.
D. First Responders — They have seen things no one should see: suffering, injuries and death. Many of these events will stay with them for way too long.
The next 45 days will set the tone for the rest of our lives.
REG BUXTON, Publisher