Mr Flexible Space
Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel

Empowering your employees to make on the spot decisions is important during a crisis. This will keep guests happy and feeling like the staff is in control. Staff should always remain visible to assist guests with anything.

It is, of course, important to keep your ears open and listen to directions during an emergency. This is the best way to insure that you and your guests will survive unharmed.

ASSESSING THE RESPONSE

Determining the effectiveness of the response to an emergency is an important way of preparing for the future. Be sure to conduct a thorough follow up after the event. Get reports from staff, conduct surveys with guests and attendees, and compare the results against that of safety drills. All of this information can be compiled to determine if your property is up to speed.

IN CONCLUSION

There is very little we can do to prevent a major disaster or emergency from occurring. But we can be as ready as possible. Wallace says it best: "If there's one thing that 9/11 and the wildfires that took place in San Diego have taught us - whether man-made or by Mother Nature - emergencies and disasters are going to happen that affect your business. Be ready and be proactive by having a comprehensive plan in place that is reviewed and updated regularly. Involve your management team and provide your staff appropriate training." Wallace's words reveal an inescapable truth. Nothing beats proper preparation.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST

Emergency Planning and Management
  • Formulate or reformulate your emergency plan.
  • Perform "what if" scenarios or simulations, and plan appropriate responses.
  • Run drills and tests.
  • Train and re-train staff on emergency procedures.
  • Stock up on emergency supplies
  • Consider convenience and comfort items.
  • Keep cooking (using a grill or other outdoor appliance).
  • Buy extension cords.
Facilities and Process Management
  • Know where your property is vulnerable if power goes down.
  • Document this examination of the service delivery system.
  • Know which systems are on emergency or standby power and which are not.
  • Provide support beyond the NEC for emergency systems.
  • If your hotel property does not have standby power, price out a generator set. If your property does have a standby power generator, price out expanding its capacity.
  • Investigate adding at least some air conditioning and lighting functionality to standby systems
  • Locate and mark phone lines that are susceptible to the loss of electrical power.
  • Keep in a known location the tools needed to ensure the functionality of manual facilities and processes.
People Management
  • Give service providers tools to perform even better.
  • Train key members of staff on manual processes.
  • Cross train staff members of key processes and skills.
  • Empower employees to solve problems and make decisions during times of crisis.
  • Be visible and encourage staff to do the same.
  • Reward professionalism and "service above self."
Customer Management
  • Determine expectations.
  • Investigate how to facilitate the co-production of the service experience by employees and guests during emergency situations.
  • Encourage empathy.
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