As New Orleans and the Gulf Coast brace for the arrival of Hurricane Isaac, seven years and one day after Katrina slammed the same region, it's a harsh reminder to hoteliers everywhere to have a disaster plan in place and ready to go.
Isaac, only a tropical storm as of now, is expected to make landfall later today as a Category 1 hurricane, well below the Category 3 Katrina. Still, 90 mph winds and heavy rains are more than enough to mandate evacuations, bring down power lines, cause floods and wreak all sorts of havoc. Smart companies, properties and managers are already prepared for the worst and ready to deal with any and all of those scenarios.
They've secured outdoor furniture and other items that could be blown away, they've checked and stocked up on supplies (food, water, batteries, linens, etc.), and they've got communication plans prepared in case of power outtages and evacuations. Guest and employee safety is first and foremost.
After a weak hurricane season last year, it's easy to forget how powerful these storms can be. And as the weird Super Derecho proved earlier this summer in the mid-Atlantic, weather events aren't just limited to coastal communities.
Here are a few stories we've published in recent years that could help you come up with an emergency response plan if you haven't already: