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Three Resources to Help Your Hotel Weather Hurricane Season

The 2020 Hurricane season is predicted to be an above-average storm season with more than a dozen named storms predicted. More than 5 of them may be major hurricanes - making it a 60 percent above average season, according to the National Weather Service.
As the country begins re-opening from COVID-19, hotels are not only facing the complexities of keeping guests safe from the virus but also putting measures in place to protect their guests and property during an active storm.
Here are three resources to help your hotel prepare and weather the storm:

Have a plan. Know the plan.

Each hotel owner should prepare a step-by-step guide of protocols for staff to follow in the event of a storm. The manual or guide should be available at all properties and provide instructions for before, during, and after the storm. The plan should incorporate precautions to take with COVID-19 in mind. There are several resources to help hoteliers prepare. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season” found here. In addition, each state has information on preparing and recovering from natural disasters.

Apply for Emergency Lodging Assistance

Before a disaster strikes, hotel owners can prepare by signing up for The Emergency Lodging Assistance Program. The federally funded program provides reimbursement for pre-qualified individuals in designated disaster areas. This means if residents have to evacuate and your hotel is designated as a shelter provider you can be paid for housing disaster survivors. Hotels must register in advance to receive these benefits. Go here to learn more about the program. Hotel owners can also take time before a storm hits to research other incentive programs like the Hurricane Tax Credit and Dislocated Workers Grant.

Consider Insurance Options

Before the storm hits, hoteliers should consult with their insurance providers to ensure their current policy provides enough coverage. Hotel’s Protection and Preservation coverage generally covers the cost of preventive measures like boarding up windows and placing sandbags around the property. What it may not cover is the loss of revenue. By being proactive and determining what coverage you have can help prevent any bad surprises if and when a storm hits.

Other Hurricane Resources: