Hurricane Recovery for the Hospitality Industry

As an insurance agent, you understand the devastation that natural disasters like hurricanes can cause and the associated insurance issues for the hospitality industry that can arise. While hotels are normally a source of safety and convenient comfort for those needing lodging, they may need to serve as a sudden type of disaster aid during or after a natural disaster. Given the nature of hurricanes, in particular, it can be difficult for hotels to prepare for this ahead of time. However, there are certain things hotels can start to do now in order to ensure they reduce their liability, serve their community reliably when needed, and ensure their hurricane recovery plan is intact before disaster strikes.

Top 3 Hurricane Recovery Tips

Have an Emergency Response Plan In Place

Having a detailed, thorough emergency response plan in place is key not only to disaster preparedness but to insuring a hotel against possible liabilities. These plans should include facets like:

  • Inventory of essential supplies
  • Adequate food and water provisions
  • Regular emergency drills
  • Evacuation plans
  • Accessible emergency equipment
  • Regular risk assessment for possible repair costs
  • Informative employee sessions

For best results, hotels should incorporate these plans into emergency training for employees and ensure they are familiar with them. Without these plans, hotels may put themselves at risk of lawsuits.

Prepare Gear and Operations for Emergencies

Once a hotel has a plan in place, it’s vital to ensure that gear is accessible and employees understand operations. For example, in a hurricane situation, key emergency gear like generators need to be kept on hand as much as possible. Staying organized can help hotels ensure that nobody gets injured due to their failure to keep equipment accessible.

Improve Communications

Finally, hotels must communicate all information clearly to both employees and guests to avoid potential liability. When a natural disaster like a hurricane is approaching, it may be a good idea to assign staff members to watch its progress and offer regular updates, including emergency evacuation or closing notices when needed. Additionally, hotels should provide a safety measure for guests’ pets that may be on-premises at the time of an emergency. Without proper communication, the hotel may risk being sued for lack of due diligence or other similar issues.

While running a hotel typically involves some degree of risk and liability, insurance problems may worsen in the case of unforeseen natural disasters. Hotels are often seen as having a responsibility to their communities during times of need, such as in the aftermath of a hurricane, even though the event may be unexpected. The good news is, as an insurance agent, there are certain strategies you can share with clients in the hospitality industry to prepare for hurricane recovery and avoid excessive liabilities. Keep these tips in mind and share with your clients to start preparing for the unexpected now.

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