Hurricane Ivan's Strike Zone

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Hurricane Ivan was just south of the western end of Cuba. The storm has already wrought havoc on the islands of Grenada and Jamaica, and now is on a crash course with the Mississippi Delta area of the Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which tracks, analyzes, and projects the intensity and location of the storm, has projected that Ivan will likely hit the shores of the United States somewhere near the Alabama/Florida border, just southwest of Pensacola, FL.

Ivan is the third major hurricane this year to hit the southeast region of the United States. The Census Bureau estimates that 14.6 million people were caught in the path of hurricane Frances, which hit the southeastern coast of Florida. Using the NOAA projections for the course of the storm and MapInfo's TargetPro, American Demographics estimates that there are about 13.7 people in a 300-mile radius from the projected landfall of Ivan. This area also accounts for 5.1 million households, which is only about 2 percent of the total number of households in the U.S. but is also just under 3 times the number of households of Alabama.

Ivan is striking many of the people that can least afford it. The average household income in the area is about $50,600, which is about $12,000 less than the national average, which means that many of the people in the path of the storm are the last people that need to be spending money to repair from the storm's expected damage. The average home in the area is valued at about $101,000, almost $30,000 dollars below the national average, which is $129,000.

Beyond the families that could see adverse effects from the storm, there are many businesses that will be financially affected. Some will be forced to close or will at least see a slowdown in business. What's worse, some will endure the expenses of fixing their equipment or buildings damaged by Ivan.

There are about 241,000 providers of services, 134,000 retailers, 51,000 construction businesses in the area. These three types of businesses employ around 2.5 million people, who will likely not be able to work during the storm but will hopefully be able to get back to work after the storm has passed and the clean up has been performed. Hurricane Ivan will certainly be attacking a part of the country that does not need a new problem to deal with.

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