Unity: The Caribbean’s Strongest Defense this Hurricane Season
If the 2017 hurricane season taught us anything, it taught us this one maxim: what affects one Caribbean nation, affects us all. Whether you were in the eye of the storm or not directly impacted, the Caribbean hospitality and tourism industry as whole was greatly impacted primarily due to the public’s perception of the region as one singular destination. In light of this undeniable fact, it behooves the Caribbean to act as one as we prepare for the 2018 hurricane season.
Reach Out for Support
There are many international, regional and local organizations that you can reach out to for support and guidance before the storm.
Do your part to support the establishment of a Regional Caribbean Marketing Initiative, that will promote, brand and market the region as a whole. This will help dispel misinformation during times of crisis and help make sure that Tourism, the region’s most important economic engine representing almost 15% of the region’s GDP, is strong and protected.
Reach out to CHTA. CHTA offers a series of educational webinars, publications, special member discounts as well as vital regional information to get your ready. Learn how to protect your property before a storm hits, learn how to ensure your property in properly insured, and much more.
Work closely with your local National Hotel and Tourism Association (NHTA). During this past storm season, keeping in close contact with all of our NHTA. They provided direct information on what was most urgently needed on the ground before, during and after the storms. Know who your key contact person is in your NHTA and learn all of the resources they can offer your business and your employees to help prepare for the unforeseen.
Work with Your Team
Talk to your Staff – One of the most effective ways to share information and motivate people to take steps for personal preparedness is to talk to your people. Add a preparedness discussion to the agenda of your next staff or organizational meeting. Many individuals within an organization—including managers, employees, teachers, and volunteers—can lead a preparedness discussion. You can cover the basics in 15 minutes; 30 minutes provides time for more discussion. Ask follow-up questions in future meetings to ensure everyone has learned the important steps to take now to prepare for a hurricane and that everyone knows the organization’s communications plan for a hurricane.Reach out to your local hospitals, churches and other local organizations in your community so you can support each other.
Test your Emergency Communication Plan – Consider testing your employee notification plan with employees and volunteers to ensure you will be able to communicate with them effectively in case of an emergency—both during and outside of business hours. This could be as simple as sending an email, a text alert, or testing a public address system to ensure leadership can provide critical emergency guidance when needed. Be sure to identify these communications by starting with “THIS IS A TEST” to avoid any confusion.