Preparing a Hotel for a Hurricane
After living in South Florida for over 25 years, we have been through several Hurricanes and threatening weather storms. The truth is that Hurricane preparedness is part of daily life for a Floridian.
When it comes to a hotel, not only do you have to worry about yourself but all the guests and staff who will be affected by it as well.
There are essentially five stages of preparedness for the hurricane season that is pre-season, pre-storm, during the storm, after the storm, and postseason.
While there are several action steps during each stage to prepare for Hurricane season and specific storm threats, here are some of the highlights from our hotel's hurricane preparation process.
Pre-Season:Have an inventory stock of essentials before Hurricane season hits. One of the biggest issues prior to Hurricane Irma was the rush of people to buy all the items they needed to survive should the worst happen. Simple things like water, non-perishables, and batteries flew off the shelves in a matter of days and the retailers couldn't keep up. Having a stock at the beginning of the season saves the anxiety to get these items together and grants you time to get your staff & guests prepared.
Pre-Storm:The condition of the exterior of your hotel can make a huge impact on your asset after the storm. Make sure your landscaping is well kept and any limbs that could be hazardous in the high wind should be removed. Hotels built after the early 2000s have adapted newer codes that make them more storm resistant, but if you have an older building you may consider boarding your windows. You'll also want to have your gutters cleaned to ensure proper drainage. Most Florida hotels have outdoor pools and the furniture needs to be secure by either moving inside or you can simply toss into the pool during the storm.
During the storm:Book rooms for employees and their families. It first and foremost ensures their safety during the storm. Secondly, having your staff on the property helps keep the operations running.
After the storm:Prepare to lose power. Hurricane Irma, which devasted Florida in 2017, largest impact post-storm to Southwest Florida was the loss of power. Several days after Hurricane Irma hit Florida, there were still thousands of people without power in their personal homes. Having cordless charges, radios, water, and other essentials will get you through these arduous times.
Post Season:Reflect and rework. Not every natural disaster is the same, so reflect on the things you learned and how you can implement and better your procedures in the future.
These are only a few of several steps from our Hurricane Preparedness procedure. Overall the most important thing to do is be calm, smart and prepared! You can get more information on general preparedness here.
Hurricanes and other acts of mother nature do happen. It's our job to make sure we keep our hospitality promise and ensure our guests are safe and have the best stay possible.