Monthly Archives: April 2008

The calm after the storm

It is all over now, but the three tornadoes that passed through Suffolk, Norfolk, Brunswick County and Colonial Heights have left these areas in a state of emergency.  I could not believe the damage that some homes here received, it was really an incredible sight.  Thankfully I live about 30 minutes away from where the tornadoes touched down in Suffolk so I was not personally affected, though my thoughts go out to all those who were injured or lost their homes, businesses other personal property during yesterdays freak event.  Thankfully, there are no missing persons and at the present time there are no fatalities.  This is very good news and hard to believe for those who saw the extent of the damage caused by these twisters.

I had never seen anything like it in my entire life.  Homes lifted completely from their foundations, some dropped on top of other ones, cars launched into the sides of buildings and roads closed except for emergency and medical personnel.  It really is humbling to see what Mother Nature can do when she exercises her muscle.  We are fortunate to have such excellent emergency personnel who were ready at a moments notice to help evacuate the injured.  My thoughts go out to them as well, especially my son who is a police officer in Portsmouth and will be assisting Suffolk police for the next few days.

Unlike hurricanes, which are relatively slow moving and very predictable in comparison, yesterday’s tornadoes gave absolutely no warning before striking.  This led me to think about contingency planning.  Could we help to reduce the number of those who are injured during natural disasters by planning?  By having a contingency plan for when tornadoes touch down, can we as a community help to reduce the number of those who are injured?  Tornadoes are highly rare in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and this may be the reason there is no official plan of action for residents of these areas when a tornado strikes.

For more information, you can call the following numbers:

American Red Cross: 539-6645

Suffolk Emergency Management Hotline: 514-7587

Navy families who need assistance in the Hampton Roads area can call 1-800-FSC-LINE or 757-444-2102.

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Virginia in top ‘100 best places to live and launch’

I was just reading an article in entitled, “100 best places to live and launch” and I saw that Virginia Beach has been ranked number 14 overall. This survey ranks the top 100 U.S. cities that have the best mix of business advantages and lifestyle appeal.

So why did Virginia Beach rank so highly on this survey? A diverse economy, an educated workforce and low taxes are among the things that were highlighted in this article. Other factors include important business sectors such as architectural and engineering firms, building equipment contractors and computer designers and nearby naval bases that attract defense and aviation related companies. The article also mentions some benefits that come with living in or around Virginia Beach such as easy access to the beaches and the number of bike trails and state parks in the area where residents can enjoy their favorite outdoor activities.

According to this survey, the only downside of doing business in Virginia Beach is the fact that the market is saturated for beach-related businesses.

It is good to see Virginia Beach make this top 100 list, but in my opinion, there are other equally nice areas here such as Hampton Roads, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Yorktown, Suffolk Newport News and Isle of Wight where new or current residents can set up successful businesses. All of these cities offer convenient access for nearby residents, a strong workforce and growing business sectors as well as a plethora of dining, entertainment and recreational opportunities. Folks who work from home or would like to set up their own business would enjoy any of these communities, which are definitely among the nicer cities in the Hampton Roads area. I have been living and doing business in these areas of Hampton Roads for years and can honestly say that it really is a great place to live and work and things are only getting better.

Click here to read this article in its entirety.

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