Natural Disaster Provides Economic Stimulus

water_damage_restoration_magnetboxflickr

I don’t usually associate natural disaster, or any other misfortune for that matter, with business opportunity, but maybe that’s a mistake. Last week I lived through an ice storm that caused some water damage to my home. As you can imagine I was in a hurry to get everything dry and prevent further impact. When my water damage restoration service provider finally told me the rates for all the magical drying equipment that now filled my home, I uttered the all too familiar:

I’m in the wrong business.

The Rise of Water Damage Restoration

If you’ve got the money to invest, I’m betting water damage restoration is an excellent business to get into. Aside from getting paid in large part by the insurance companies, consider the factors coming together at this particular moment in time to create such a favorable business environment:

  • Shoddy Construction
    I lived in a sixty year old house in Seattle where it almost never stopped raining. Yeah, we had water in the walls, so what? That place was solid. A bit of wet insulation in today’s construction and half your house melts away.
  • Global Warming
    I don’t know if it’s man made or not, but you can’t deny we have more natural disasters now than fifty years ago. More disaster equals more money for the disaster relief specialists!
  • Mold Phobia
    With a paranoia surrounding mold that borders on hysteria, homeowners and insurance companies companies alike will do almost anything to prevent a potential mold ‘infestation’.
  • Ignorance & Fear
    It’s not that we don’t want to know how our homes are constructed and how to take care of them ourselves, it’s that the world and western society have pushed us away from this knowledge and into more and more complex roles away from home. So when someone tells us our wall is full of water and we have to do this, that, and the other to rescue our largest investment, we take them at face value. What else can we do?
SEE ALSO:
15 Red Flags That You Need to Find Another Job

A Google search for ‘water damage restoration franchise’ yields 254,000 results. Pick one.

According to FranchiseWorks.com, this type of disaster restoration is a $162 billion dollar recession-proof niche industry  that serves ‘one of the largest customer bases in the country – the insurance property claims industry’.

So I guess instead of natural disaster, we should think of hurricanes, floods, and ice storms as economic stimulus!

Image Credit: magnetbox, Flickr

  • Rob

    Please study the broken window fallacy to see why natural disasters are not economic stimulus and only serve to destroy wealth:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

  • DM

    Hello Broken Window Fallacy!

    I guess when the Nazis smashed the Jewish business windows this was an economic stimulus. The Jews should have been grateful to the Nazis because think of how many glass makers and repairmen were enriched!

  • Lela Davidson

    Rob – Yes, I agree there’s really no benefit in the fact that I have to pay the repair service to put my house back together. However, the repair service will obviously disagree. Is there really any benefit to the billions we’ll spend on stiumulus?

    My point here was mostly about the rise of this ‘disaster recover’ industry. It’s interesting to me that it’s on the rise.