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Hurricane Katrina
What impact do you see it having on your business?

 11:02 am on Sep 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

First of all, wow - what a mess! My condolences to anyone who suffered loss by this devastating storm...

I'm quite a distance from the Gulf coast, but still find myself very drawn to the unfolding news, stories, and images coming from there. Perhaps the fact that many others across the nation and beyond are glued to CNN and news sites, as well as the disruption of several millions of lives, could account for a 10 - 20% loss in Adwords traffic - are others seeing this too in the past couple days?

What impact, if any, is the storm having on your business?



 7:09 am on Sep 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Right now, I'm much more concern with folks that don't have a house, or basic human services rather than how this terrible disaster has effected my business. I still have A/C, food and water. I consider myself very lucky right now considering the alternative.


 1:50 am on Sep 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree. We should all be little more concerned about the loss of human life and this tragedy. We all should learn something from this.

People have not learned anything out of the collaps of the Babelonyan tower and from the Sodom Gommorah.


 11:09 pm on Sep 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm going to be controversial here and tick off a lot of people...

You are both right, since we had this terrible and unfortunate disaster we should probably just shut down the American economy. That would help these displaced people find jobs, food, water and get help.

In fact, Webmasterworld should really just turn off posts until Hurricane season is over. Webmasters should forget about their business because our families and businesses don't deserve to make a living or discuss the technicals behind our business operations because people are suffering.

Does this make any sense to anyone!?

I see nothing wrong with discussing and evaluating cause and effect situations that effect webmasters when this board is (at least I think) for webmasters.

If you haven't donated to the Red Cross, fundraised for the victims, opened your home to them or even paid attention to the crisis then shame on you. But don't stick your head in the sand like an idiot because people are suffering.

Sorry, but logic must prevail, respect and compassion are one thing but when someone condemns a webmaster for discussing why their business is being effected on a board strictly for Webmasters should find another message board.

P.S. To the original poster of this thread please take into account that this is Labor Day weekend and your Adwords traffic is being brought down due to the terrible tragedy on the Southern Coast and because hopefully people are making the most of their last summer days. :)


 11:33 pm on Sep 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

webaddict, you took the words right out of my mouth, er ... actually fingers :)


 12:11 am on Sep 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

One thought occurs to me -- unless businesses can thrive, there is no surplus cash around to donate as help in this or any crisis. It's all one big piece.

There is every chance that all business will see a serious, long term and rolling effect from Katrina. For example, I just learned that 70% of all US grain exports normally move through the stricken area. Internally, a great amount of US grain moves on the Mississippi and depends on the ports along the Gulf. Much of that grain may need to be moved by truck for the immediate future, and that change in transportation will cascade in the soaring price of fuel. And so the dominoes keep tipping into other dominoes.

I expect to see necessities -- especially food -- to show a rather dramatic jump in price in the next few weeks. What these shift will mean all around, in the balance of trade and the value of the US dollar altogether (already a bit wobbly) is also to be seen. Most likely there will be a very powerful effect rolling through much of the US economy, absorbing a good bit of what was relatively "disposable income".

If an online business (or any business) depends on selling items that are not neccessities, then it may well have to navigate through a relatively serious sales trough, at least for the near future.


 12:39 am on Sep 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dougl, to answer your question, yes, Katrina is having an impact. It is the same as with 9/11. Everyone was glued to the TV or radio then and not shopping (you can't blame them, even though Bush told us all to shop). Those online were at the news sites. Now it is another disaster, and it will be a few days before people return to normal. Of course, those affected directly by the catastrophe may never return to normal.


 12:55 am on Sep 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

If an online business (or any business) depends on selling items that are not neccessities, then it may well have to navigate through a relatively serious sales trough, at least for the near future.

Yep. It's called a recession. Almost every major increase in fuel costs is followed by one. I have to spend more of my income on gas so I'll have less money to spend on them fifty dollar video games or renting movies. Meanwhile, Wallfart will be left holding the bag on a lotta stuff that isn't gonna sell as fast as they hoped (serves them right. ;-)

Selling your products on line does not make you immune to these things. If you're trying to sell me a cool t-shirt, but I have a high gas bill 'cuz I have to drive to work, then I have to make a choice. That really cool t-shirt, or my week's lunch. You selling it on the net makes no difference to my pay check.

Katrina will only add to these problems.


[edited by: Dr_X at 12:56 am (utc) on Sep. 5, 2005]


 12:56 am on Sep 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Would the higher cost of transportation actually help online sales? I mean you don't need to travel to get your stuffs at the stores. This plus the change in weather could mean more people stay indoors?

So a fall in disposable income may have a greater impact on brick & mortar stores rather than on online stores.

Unless freight rates rise so much that this advantage is negated, I think online sales may not be so badly hit after all.


 1:14 am on Sep 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

High gas prices should not affect some WebmasterWorld members because we work at home.

I live in Houston which is the closest major city to NO. We have at least tens of thousands of them coming here maybe more. It is nice that we can actually volunteer and help them directly by volunteering at the Astrodome where they are living for now.

There is no doubt this will affect our economy in a very tangible way. We have already seen insane gas prices.

To the first poster you really can't tell about traffic until next week. This time of year takes a dip in traffic normally.


 7:45 am on Sep 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Adwords traffic and traffic in general has been way down the last few days, though sales have been well above average - go figure.

Seems like the holiday weekend more than Katrina right now that is bringing traffic down as there tends to be a seasonal downturn in lots of areas this weekend.

When the effects of the storm and the high energy prices really start to ripple through the economy and housing cools, then we should start to see a real slowdown.

We may see more people heading to the physical stores if shipping rates go up. It's generally not the cost of driving to the mall that increases fuel costs, it's going back and forth to work everyday.

Hopefully the economy will hold out till after the holidays.


 10:41 pm on Sep 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

can anyone guess a % for traffic drop now that parts of Texas are hit too? is it 10%, 20%?


 10:48 pm on Sep 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not doing any biz at present, so no effects there.

Instead, by dial-up ISP was affected. Due to a power loss, they are on reserve power,
batteries and/or a small generator.

As a result, THEIR site is down, and my regular email is down too.
They shut down their email servers to conserve power, but left internet access up!
I'm sure glad of that, I couldn't write in here otherwise.
Hotmail became my only email, could not get into Gmail -- that requires an invite. -Larry

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