Hurricane Preparedness for Hotels

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the hurricane season in the U.S. runs from 1st June to 30th November and is at its peak from mid-August to late October. Therefore, hotels should review their disaster preparedness checklists to ensure they take the necessary steps to protect their guests, staff, and property. Keeping this in mind, here are four hurricane preparedness tips for hotels.

  1. Have Reliable Means of Communication

When a hurricane strikes, effective communication from the management to the staff and guests can help create order and enhance safety. Therefore, create a communication center within your hotel from which the emergency management can channel instructions to other occupants of the hotel during the disaster. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the local emergency management center that will issue hurricane alerts and other public safety notifications. This way, you will know when evacuation is necessary, where the nearest safe ground is, and when it is safe to release your guests. Additionally, ensure you have emergency communication devices such as HAM radios, as well as a backup power solution such as a hurricane generator.

  1. Stock Enough Supplies

Per the University of Rhode Island, a hurricane can last anywhere from a few hours to a month. With this in mind, you should stock up on essential supplies, including, among others, dry foods, clean water, canned fruits, vegetables, drinks, and any other edibles that require zero to minimum preparation. However, avoid fresh foods because they tend to go bad quickly when they’re not refrigerated. In addition to food items, you should also stock first aid kits, medications, toiletries, backup batteries, rain gear, and fully charged cell phones.

  1. Create an Evacuation Plan for Guests

In case the hurricane endangers the hotel occupants, you should have a feasible evacuation plan to move your guests and staff to safer grounds. You can arrange for mutual aid with hotels located in low-risk areas as well as other retail businesses. More specifically, hotels on safer grounds can host your guests, while retail businesses can give you essential supplies at discounted prices to ensure safety during the hurricane.

  1. Train Your Staff and Assign Responsibilities

Your employees should also prepare to take action in case of a hurricane. That’s why you need to train them on how to act and ways to enhance safety. That said, ensure you establish an emergency team that would guide the rest during the disaster. Once the training is over, be sure to conduct drills to gauge how the staff would respond in the event of a real hurricane.

To prepare your hotel for the hurricane season, follow these tips. Additionally, purchase the right hurricane insurance coverage. Contact Nikki Fox, nikki@parkwestgc.com, at Parkwest General Contractors to learn more about how we can help improve hurricane safety and other renovation concerns for hotel properties.

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