CBIZ INNKEEPERS INSURANCE BLOG

Insights and tips on how to protect your inn or bed & breakfast, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
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Preparing Your Inn for a Hurricane

Bed and breakfast hurricane preparedness

As hurricane season approaches, it’s time to prepare your bed and breakfast business for the unexpected. With climate change and more active weather patterns, hurricane season can last longer or begin earlier. The heavy rains and catastrophic winds hurricanes bring can severely damage or destroy properties in low-lying coastal areas. Use the following guidance to stay safe and limit potential damage in the event of a hurricane.

Provide Emergency Essentials

Your top priority is the safety of your guests and employees. In preparation for an emergency, make sure to provide the necessary resources. Here’s a quick list of essentials you should always have on hand.

  • First-aid kit – According to the American Red Cross, a first-aid kit should include non-latex gloves, tweezers, scissors, tissues, an assortment of adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, adhesive cloth tape, aspirin packets, sterile gauze pads and dressings.
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Working flashlights
  • Candles and matches
  • Trash bags
  • Extra batteries
  • Blankets
  • Charged wireless charger
  • Clean drinking water or water purifying tablets
  • Nonperishable food

Sign up for weather notifications for your property’s location. Pay attention to anything that could potentially harm your guests and property. Communicate with your guests about any inclement weather. Develop a habit of checking the weather every morning and night; it can help prepare you for whatever storm may come your way.

Before the Hurricane

Create an evacuation plan for your property with a designated meeting place and place it in your guest handbook so it’s easily accessible. This plan should contain where to go, how to get there, what to take and how to communicate with you. Make sure to:

  • Store valuable papers and items in waterproof bags.
  • Cover windows and secure any outdoor items.
  • If you’re told to evacuate, do so immediately and make sure your guests get out safely.

During the Hurricane

  • Tune into a battery-operated radio or TV and follow instructions.
  • Seek shelter in an interior room away from windows, such as a closet.

After the Hurricane

There is always the chance that a hurricane could disrupt your normal business operations. Having a contingency plan for your bed and breakfast business is an absolute must in order to recover quickly from the disruption. Implement your crisis budget immediately and adjust your lifestyle to the change. Any expenses not related to keeping your business afloat or essential to living need to be re-examined and halted if possible. Keep in mind:

  • Stay inside until an “all-clear” is issued. If you were evacuated, don’t return until the area is safe.
  • When inspecting the property, wear sturdy shoes and clothing for protection.
  • Allow only those trained to turn off damaged utilities and appliances.
  • Use only bottled water until tap water is determined safe.

Preparation Is Key

Plan evacuation routes and designate a post-disaster contact that family members know to call after a hurricane. Stock up on items such as a week’s supply of bottled water and canned goods, along with a manual can/bottle opener, flashlight, battery-operated radio or television, nails, tarps and plywood.

Your bed and breakfast is one of your largest assets. Let us help you protect your business and mitigate potential risks. To learn more about insuring your business through CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance, connect with a member of our team.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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