Are you ready? Preparing an Emergency Response Plan

  • Hospitality
  • by Jeff Courey, COO

Even the most astute business professional can sometimes overlook the importance of being prepared for an extraordinary event. Despite the rhetoric coming from certain political leaders, climate change is a real phenomenon that is affecting businesses in every industry. You don’t have to go far back in history to find evidence of climate change and its effect on the hospitality business.

The 2017 wildfires in California, the 2018 volcano eruptions in Hawaii, the 2016 Fort McMurray tragedy known as “The Beast”. All examples of natural disasters that were almost impossible to predict but nevertheless devastating for certain businesses. Insurance will cover most damage attributable to the disasters however what happens if your entire linen stock gets destroyed by a flood or from a fire’s smoke and soot?

Clean or replace?

Smoke odor could remain in textiles long after the professionals perform their cleaning. Textiles typically go through a deodorization process called the “ozone treatment” which produces an oxidizing agent and leaves textiles with a sweet smelling finish commonly associated with a rainstorm. Sounds delightful, right? It’s also expensive and often falls very far down the list of things to do after your hotel experiences this kind of disaster.

Get your linen list ready

More often than not, a hotel owner decides to completely replace their linen with brand new stock, ridding them of the chore t go through an extensive cleaning process. Replacing linen is a relatively inexpensive way to start fresh, however can become problematic if a hotel has not prepared for such a need with their linen provider. It’s important to have the discussion with your linen supplier in order to understand if your usual style and quality of linen are standard stock items or if they are manufactured especially for your hotel.

If it is the ladder, it’s important to establish an emergency response linen inventory clause in your supply agreement. There are many different ways to set this up with your linen supplier, but the first step is to be open and transparent with your linen provider and explain all of your expectations and limitations. As Stephen King famously said, “There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst”.

GCI logo Jeff Courey - Chief Operating Officer

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