When Natural Disaster Strikes: Be Prepared and Stay Prepared!

Hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes don’t take travel schedules into consideration. Whether you are close to home or halfway around the world, it is important to always be prepared for when a natural disaster strikes.

When a natural disaster occurs, infrastructure will be impacted and it can take days (if not weeks) before regular operations begin to stabilize. Businesses may be closed, fallen objects may block roads, air traffic may be halted, and power may be out in your area. Here are ways you can prepare yourself for when an emergency happens, whether close to home or while traveling.

  • Make a plan. Be sure to have an emergency plan in place that includes contact numbers for all family members, as well as an established meeting place should you be separated or unable to return home. Take into consideration needs that are specific to your family like medication, family pets, etc. when creating a plan. If you are traveling, attempt to evacuate in advance of an impending storm if possible. Waiting until the last minute to evacuate can lead to scarce flights options, a shortage of hotel rooms, and a dearth of rental vehicles. If you are unable to evacuate, be aware of the emergency plan at the hotel, meeting room, conference center, etc. and be prepared to follow that plan if necessary.
  • Stay in touch. Know how to quickly get in touch with your colleagues and loved ones and make sure they know how to reach you. Maintain a coordinated communication plan if you are separated and be sure to share plans should you need to move to a new location.
  • Stay informed. Whether disaster strikes at home or while you are traveling, identify reputable, up-to-date news sources for the latest information. During an emergency, information can change from one minute to the next. Look to local agencies or news outlets for current response plans, closures, or evacuation information.
  • Prepare an emergency kit. Make sure to have a well-stocked emergency supply kit on-hand to accommodate your family for up to three days and don’t forget to prepare a kit for your car, too. If you are traveling and unable to evacuate, stock up on water, nonperishable foods, and basic first aid supplies to keep in your hotel room.

On December 4th, 2018, the GBTA Risk Committee will be hosting a webinar focused on natural disaster preparation and response.  Please join us for additional information and practical strategies you can implement to be prepared and stay prepared when natural disaster strikes.