The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s Project Phoenix 2.0 was awarded the Public/Private Achievement Award at the 36th edition of the Governor’s Hurricane Conference.
Public/Private Achievement Award – To an individual or small or large organization from the not-for-profit or private sector that has made a substantial contribution to hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, mitigation or research in the State of Florida.
With Project Phoenix 2.0, the Regional Planning Council focused on small business preparation and recovery because as many as 40% of area small businesses would permanently close in the wake of a Category 5 hurricane with a direct hit on the Tampa Bay region. Project Phoenix 2.0 was designed to help these businesses get adequately prepared for such a storm.
Through Project Phoenix 2.0, business owners can learn important information on how to create continuity plans, evaluate insurance needs, develop human resource plans, and protect the business’ property and facilities. These steps are critical in helping them maintain or quickly reestablish business operations should a catastrophic storm hit the Tampa Bay region.
“These steps are critical in helping small business owners maintain or quickly reestablish business operations should a catastrophic storm hit the Tampa Bay region,” said Sean Sullivan, Executive Director, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.
Project Phoenix 2.0 includes a series of videos that offers a chilling look at the catastrophic impacts a Category 5 storm would have on the region. The first video simulates “Hurricane Phoenix” forming in the Gulf of Mexico, small businesses throughout the Tampa Bay region getting prepared, the moment of impact, and the aftermath of the storm. Other videos feature stories from business owners who experienced the devastation of 2018’s Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida.
This approach demonstrates how one region in Florida can support and learn from another, so if a “Hurricane Phoenix” does come, the Tampa Bay region can be ready.
The Regional Planning Council focused its education and outreach on small business owners to help them develop a plan to recover and continue operations after a hurricane. The Regional Planning Council gave more than 50 presentations to local chambers of commerce, business groups and local governments about Project Phoenix 2.0.
The GHC is the nation’s largest and best-attended conference focusing on hurricane planning, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. The GHC is an opportunity to learn from the successes of others and identify proven best practices, as well as learning what mistakes to avoid before it’s too late! This year’s conference was held from May 8 through May 13, 2022 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center & Hilton West Palm Beach.