As we’ve learned from California’s recent flooding, a natural disaster can strike at any time. As things start to dry out and Summer comes into full swing, be sure you and your campground are prepared for wildfire season.
We spoke with Damian Petty at Leavitt Recreation & Hospitality Insurance to give some insight into what you should keep in mind for your insurance agent should you ever be faced with a wildfire emergency.
Having an established evacuation plan is crucial for not only your staff, but also your guests. However, having a plan does no good unless it is actually practiced regularly. In addition to a set procedure, you should know how you will notify the guests staying in your park. Damian recommends having a text alert system set up in the event that a guest is off property, and you cannot find them to inform them of potential danger and evacuations.
You should also take note of the following for your insurance agent as well as your business:
• Who were you evacuated by if evacuation occurred?
• When were you evacuated (date, time)?
• How far away was the fire?
• Take photos of assets for reference.
• Keep track of cancellations and extra expenses brought on by the emergency.
CalOHA also spoke with Chris Wood of San Francisco North Petaluma KOA; with his experience in aiding with evacuations, he was able to provide 5 important steps/strategies.
Our last advice is to have access to a printed list of the current guests in your park that you can provide to law enforcement should an evacuation be ordered. Some guests may be off property hiking or enjoying a nearby town at the time of evacuation; this way, law enforcement is able to verify that the guest is staying in your park so they can re-enter and retrieve their belongings. This also makes it possible for guests to come back to retrieve things that were forgotten.
At the end of the day, natural disasters are scary and unpredictable. However, utilizing the above tips could make an emergency more manageable for you and your campers.
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