Hurricane Katrina reminded everyone in the remodeling industry that weather can affect their businesses. All over the country, materials prices spiked, and homeowners — concerned with rising gas prices and an uncertain economy — held their money a little tighter to their vests.

Robin Burrill, CEO of Curb Appeal Renovations, is one remodeler who didn't need that reminder. She monitors the weather constantly — and did so even before Katrina — because she knows from experience how Mother Nature can affect her Keller, Texas, company.

In addition to summer's hurricane season, “in the spring, tornadoes can come through,” Burrill says. “There have been times that we couldn't get a roofer because they've been swamped.”

When severe storms have hit the area, Burrill says it's not uncommon for lumber yards to limit the amount of material the company could buy. By keeping a close eye on weather reports, Burrill can minimize the negative effects on her company by, for example, telling customers that quoted prices are only good for a short period of time.

Currently, the area is experiencing a severe drought, a real hit to a local marketplace that partly relies on ranching.

Burrill says that ranchers are selling as many cattle per day as they usually sell in an entire month — a sure sign that they're worried about the economy.