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Tips on How Travel Agencies Should Prepare For Extreme Weather Conditions
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The weather becomes more unpredictable each day due to climate change which is why it is crucial for travel agencies to always prepare early for the worst. There are a lot of factors to consider when you’ll be facing extreme weather conditions especially because the lives of people are on the line. Knowing their basic information including health conditions is, therefore, a must.
It is usually a protocol for travel agencies to send out a form to their clients which contains questions about their physical condition. This would be most helpful during situations such as being stranded in a place due to severe weather. To know more about how to better prepare for extreme weather conditions when planning for a trip, check out the tips below!
You wouldn’t want to wait for a crisis to happen so even there is no sign of rain, your agency should have an emergency preparedness plan in place. Your team should be used to monitoring offshore weather forecasts so everyone will quickly know whether you need to make trip adjustments. Regularly checking the weather forecasts can usually give you enough days of notice to prepare as needed. To plan for severe weather, you must have your list of contacts including the coordinators in the place you’re visiting aside from your clients. It’s also imperative that you’ve signed up for emergency notifications at regional public alerts. This can help you track road closures, traffic, and even access real-time weather information.
Another important task is to always stock up on basic provisions such as water, food, medications, and clothing among other things. You can charge as necessary should the need for them arises.
Create a communications plan.
This is part of the whole preparation to become weather-ready since you wouldn’t really know what could happen. Some of the situations you can expect are power failures, loss of communication services, and incredibly cold temperatures. Make sure that you have a full list of who to contact during emergencies which includes the local government office, nearby hospitals, emergency contacts of those who are part of the trip, and the like. Some agencies also bring a radio with them in case the signal on mobile phones gets cut. It should be clear to your clients the point persons from your team to make them feel safer and be familiar with your team.
If you have older adults joining your trip, you may want to consider bringing an easy-to-read thermometer that could be placed indoors and would be hassle-free for you to check frequently. This is because the elderly are more susceptible to health problems due to the cold.
Prepare your vehicle.
It’s not only humans that need preparation but also machines so if you’re bringing the agency’s car, ensure that you get the radiator system checked prior to the trip. You may advise the same to your vehicle provider if you’ll only be renting one. Otherwise, you can check the antifreeze level yourself with a tester. It’s a must that you also verify whether the tires have adequate air pressure and tread. Other things you should check include the brakes, defroster, emergency flashers, ignition, exhaust, battery, and oil.
When you’ve assessed that it’s alright to continue with the trip despite possible severe weather, the route should be planned ahead of time. The driver must also be reminded about travel safety procedures such as looking out for pedestrians and turning on the light to increase visibility. Bring an emergency weather kit as well with items like a flashlight, chains, snow shovel, first aid kit, jumper cables, bright-colored flags, waterproof matches, and a bag of sand among others.
Expect the worst-case scenario.
When faced with an unpleasant situation, do not panic even if your clients already do. To give an example, if you happen to be stranded in the vehicle, stick with your emergency preparedness plan and show authority to calm the passengers. There’s no need to call 911 as well unless you’re having a bad medical situation on board. Wait for the conditions to improve as you pull off the road into a safe spot. Should you want to leave the vehicle, make sure it’s not in the travel lane and give clear instructions for everyone to walk with extra caution as you take the lead. Head for the most accessible public establishment or transit stop. Once everyone is secured, aim to retrieve your vehicle at the soonest possible time.
Don’t sweat the setbacks.
The possibility of postponing and canceling trips due to severe weather has always been there in the travel industry. You should also be prepared for this. While waiting for conditions to be better, think of ways how to reengage your clients and make them take the trip again another time. You can also offer to hold off their fees should they wish to so they wouldn’t need to re-do the payment process. Being part of the travel industry requires much preparation, patience, and creativity. You just need to regularly gather useful information such as the weather forecast to weather any difficulties.
These are only a few of the tips on how to prepare for severe weather. Follow these while also ensuring that the whole team is in good shape to actualize the emergency plan. Once that’s also covered, you’re all set!