EP #3 – Steps to prepare for Hurricane Season with Bryan Jackson

Learn steps to prepare for Hurricane Season from Bryan Jackson, a hotel General Manager who has been through his share of storms.

Do you know what to do in the event of a hurricane? Even if your area doesn’t get hurricanes you can learn some lessons on being prepared for disasters on today’s show.

General Manager Bryan Jackson from the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Suffolk, VA shares his advice on preparing for the hurricane season including when he starts preparation, what to stock up on and when and also what roles are assigned to which staff members during the hurricane. All of that and more on this episode of Hospitality Academy.

Essential Learning Points From This Show:

  • Why should you inspect your grounds every year?
  • How to prepare properly, even if you have a small property.
  • Who should do what during a natural disaster?
  • Why it’s important to stock up on what you need, and what you think you may need.
  • Simple steps to take to make your guests feel at ease during a storm.
  • And so much more!

With over 30 years of experience to draw on, including managing through 12 hurricanes in the course of his career, Bryan has sound advice to share for any hotel operator who is located in a hurricane threat zone and anyone else who might be facing any sort of natural disasters.

We discuss hurricane-specific preparation but from a big picture standpoint, many of the steps he takes can apply to being prepared for other catastrophes.

Bryan starts his preparation all year-round, and his most focused efforts come in late April to early May. He looks around his property and adjacent properties for dying or damaged trees, or loose shingles or damaged parts of roofs.

Basically, he is looking for anything that could become flying debris during the hurricane. If he sees anything on his neighbors’ properties he lets them know, and he takes care of anything on his own.

He also stocks up on certain items in advance. Some things can have longer shelf lives than other items so the timing of purchases is important. But he says to always have flashlights, batteries and glow sticks on hand. The glow sticks are great for lighting up the hallways when the power goes out!

It’s also important to have a battery-operated weather radio and battery-operated tools or tools that can run off of your generators. If the storm is predicted to come your way make sure you have plenty of ice and coolers for the ice.

Because he manages an Express hotel where space is at a premium, he rents two generators when storms are coming his way: one to run the computers and the other to run the refrigerators and other important electric-based equipment.

If you do have a generator of your own make sure you know what it’s specifically connected to so you are only powering the most necessary functions – Bryan shares a lesson he learned about that on today’s show!

In terms of food, Bryan brings in canned goods when the storm is approaching, but not too far ahead of time because of shelf life and limited space. He suggests his guests either go inland if possible, but if they are staying through the storm he tells them to get non-perishable food for themselves like crackers and peanut butter.

Also on this show, Bryan advises on what roles to give which staff members, the most critical steps in hurricane preparation and what he learned from Hurricane Isabel. Listen in for all of that and so much more on this episode of Hospitality Academy.

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Important Links & Mentions From This Episode:


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