IEDC Readies Disaster Recovery Program in Response to Hurricane Harvey

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If current projections hold true, disaster could be one of the costliest ever

Texas Border Business
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 2017) — Though it is still early in the disaster response cycle, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is preparing to mobilize volunteers and economic recovery programs to Hurricane Harvey communities. Harvey is on track to be one of the costliest storms ever for the United States.

“In our experience, economic impacts of disasters can be felt far beyond the impact area,” said Jeff Finkle, president and CEO of IEDC. “The magnitude of this hurricane indicates that it will take months to sort out the implications, and the effects will be felt for years. Our aim will be to assist local economic developers with economic recovery strategies and bring in the support of experienced volunteers, not unlike the efforts we mobilized immediately following Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”

IEDC is the leading private-sector organization dedicated to economic development in the United States. Disaster resilience and economic recovery have been a major focus for IEDC as the economic impacts of disasters have escalated dramatically in recent years.  IEDC has played a prominent role in helping multiple U.S. states accelerate their economic recovery in the wake of extreme natural and manmade events.

As part of its disaster recovery program, IEDC conducts field assessments, webinars and training sessions. It also deploys economic development experts from across the country to support local economic recovery needs, and provides online resources through its portal dedicated to disaster economic recovery, RestoreYourEconomy.org.

“The first priority of every disaster has to be saving lives,” Finkle noted. “But after the initial shock, reopening businesses and getting everyone back to work rebuilding the economy will be some of the toughest and longest-running challenges the region will face. The sooner we get started, the more we can reduce the impact and duration of the economic displacement.”

As part of its program, IEDC will host a series of briefings and conference calls on economic development challenges that will need to be addressed in the days and months to come. The aim of these efforts is to help local economic developers increase the post-disaster survival rate of businesses and get people back to work as quickly as possible. IEDC is seeking experienced volunteers to serve in varying capacities and duration. Typical activities may be to provide advice on best practices from other communities, how to plan for and prioritize economic recovery activities, serving as an instructor or volunteer at a business recovery center, and more.  To sign up, please visit www.iedconline.org/HelpForHurricaneHarvey

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