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Impacts of Cold Weather on Economic Development

With the recent polar vortex sweeping the northeast, midwest, and southeast, I figure it would be interesting to note the affects of the inclement weather on economic development, trade, and commerce.
  • Transportation- Roads close. People aren't as willing to drive if the roads are icy or slippery. Truck drivers and their employers delay their shipments until conditions are safer. Fewer trucks means fewer goods delivered. Trucks and passenger cars not moving means less production of goods and services.
    • Airways- Flights (passenger and cargo) are often delayed due to inclement weather, domestically and internationally. Again this affects people's abilities to go to work and the delivery of goods and services.
    • Railroads- Just like airways, cargo and passenger delays leads to potential supply shortages, lost sales, and travelers' inability to get to work.
  • Schools- Maybe not true for most places, but in the southeast, everything closes at the mention of snow. Schools are typically the  first to trigger the chain of closings and delays. Education is the root of workforce development. In addition, school systems are often large employers. 
  • Water- Water main breaks are often expected as old pipes burst.
  • Power- Power outages often occur when abnormal temperatures arrive. No heat or light usually means businesses don't open and people stay home. Technologically, data and information becomes inaccessible or nonexchangeable. 
  • Banks- Banks closings and delays leads to fewer financial transactions. Businesses may have to wait for loans.
  • Grocery Stores- The demand for bread and milk skyrockets.



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