Hurricane predictions prompt health and safety warning to trade – 17 Jul 2007

Health and safety experts are advising tour operators and travel agents to check hotels have hurricane procedures in place following grim predictions for this year’s stormy season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts as many as 17 named storms compared with a typical season’s 11, with Caribbean destinations usually among the worst affected.

Check Safety First, which supplies risk management audit systems to hotels, said the trade needs to ask hoteliers questions to ensure the safety of customers as well as warning holidaymakers about hurricane conditions.

Questions they should ask hotels include:

  • Is there a member of staff guests can turn to for advice and direction during a hurricane?

  • What type of training has that person received?

  • Is there a procedure in place for risk management in the event of a hurricane?

  • Is there an recovery location for guests to be transferred to?

  • Is there a history of hurricanes in the hotel’s area?

Check Safety First chief executive Mark Harrington said UK holidaymakers were often attracted to Caribbean destinations such as the Dominican Republic and Mexico during the hurricane season – which typically lasts from June until the end of November – by lower prices.

He added: “To ensure guests have the utmost protection it is essential agents and operators investigate the procedures that hoteliers have in place if a hurricane hits.”

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