Hurricane Sandy has not even made landfall yet, but the economic impact of the storm is already mounting. The biggest financial toll will come in the wake of the storm, when the clean-up begins. However, with thousands of companies along the eastern seaboard already closed in preparation for the storm, including the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ, as well as thousands of flights cancelled and railway transportation halted, the storm is already costing the economy millions in lost output, productivity and consumer spending. “The effects of the storm could be felt well after the last cloud passes, as power outages and structural damage take days or weeks to repair,” noted John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “If there is any silver lining in all the destruction the storm is expected to cause, it’s that such storms tend to provide a boost to the economy in their wake. After the initial shocks to the economy related to lost output and productivity, we will probably see an employment surge in construction, skilled trades and other professions needed to help repair the damage. There will also be an increase in business and consumer spending and companies and homeowners replace damaged equipment, household items, etc. While much of it will be paid for with insurance money, the injection of money into the economy will be beneficial nonetheless,” he added. Are there any steps east coast companies can take to lessen the impact of the storm on productivity? How will consumers and companies in other parts of the country feel the economic impact of the storm? What opportunities for economic growth will exist after the storm?