When an emergency happens at a hotel staff and guests can face tremendous challenges if the facility is not prepared. Successful hoteliers understand their guests are at their most vulnerable:
- Away from home
- Away from their support systems
- Possibly not speaking the language
- Physically challenged by disability
- Taking care of small children/infants
- In the company of emotional support or service animals
The core of hospitality is taking care of people and your evacuation kit should be built with this in mind.
Remember: If it’s not a drill you may be evacuated for an extended period.
Containers for Your Kit
Evacuation kits should be portable boxes containing support tools that can be used and/or quickly removed in an emergency.
Types of Boxes/Containers:
- Pelican cases
- Plastic totes with secure lids
- High quality and weather-resistant duffle bags or backpacks
- Plastic trash can or drum container if your property has acreage and storage
- No container should require more than one person to lift/carry it.
- Keep in mind your staff – don’t load a container appropriate only for someone who can lift 80 lbs.
- Consider having multiple kits staged at different exit points.
What Goes Into the Kit:
- Floorplans for emergency responders
- Access control and master keys for emergency responders
- Hi-viz vests for hotel emergency response team
- Flash cards (if used) for hotel emergency response team
- Loudhailer/bullhorn for communicating with evacuees at muster points
- Pre-printed evacuee registration forms
- Contact number / email
- Date of arrival
- Planned date of departure
- Next destination
- Method of travel
- Make, model, registration / license plate
- Airline and flight number
- Date of birth
- Reciprocal evacuation agreement
- Crisis management plan
- Notification tree and numbers
Additional Considerations Based On Location and Guest Comfort
- If you are in a cold climate: foil blankets and chemical hand warmers
- If you are in a hot climate: pop up shelters/canopies
- If you allow emotional support/service animals: leashes, bowls, bottled water
- If you are in a tsunami zone: pre-printed walking maps to highest safe point as identified by your local authority
Maintain and Test Kits
Evacuation kits should be kept sealed and secured, accessible to front desk leader.
As part of the general security management plan, kits should be on daily inspection checklists to ensure they are sealed, secured and accessible. Contents should be checked and, if necessary, updated every time Crisis Management team names or numbers change as well as a minimum of every quarter.
Consider testing your kits during your evacuation drills by having kits carried out as part of the drill. Contents can then be verified and any changes based on drill learning can be implemented into your kit revision. Click here for information about how to conduct an evacuation drill.