Disaster Planning for Travel

Disaster planning isn’t the type of planning most people want to think about when booking their next business trip or vacation; however, if you spend a lot of time on the road, you could be away from home when disaster strikes. In this case, there are other factors that will be important when figuring out your disaster plan and putting together your disaster kit. Business owners and managers who have staff that spend a lot of time travelling, whether abroad or simply from client to client locally, should also have plans in place.

Considerations when planning your next trip:

– While travelling light is usually preferred, if you plan on renting a car and doing a lot of driving while you are away, you should bring a small vehicle emergency kit with you and keep it in the car in case that’s where you are when disaster strikes. Anyone whose job keeps them on the road the majority of the time should have a vehicle emergency kit.

– Communication will be key so family members and co-workers know that you are alright, or vice-versa. Plan ahead and know how you are going to communicate with people as telephone lines are often unreliable or too busy post-disaster. Will you tweet, use Facebook, send emails or text messages or use a different form?

– Pack some warmer clothing even if your travel plans are taking you somewhere warm just in case a freak storm hits while we are away. It is always a good idea to have jeans and sweaters along to keep you warm.

– Pack at least one pair of functional shoes, such as hiking boots or running shoes. This way, if an emergency situation does occur you will need to be able to easily navigate your way through flood waters or earthquake rubble.

– If you take any kind of medication, bring extra with you so that in the event that your flight is delayed or postponed for any reason you won’t run out.

– Always have food and water with you. If you are staying in a hotel room and tend to rely on room service I have bad news for you – they won’t be delivering your meal when disaster strikes. You should always have some food and water on your person just in case. Things like granola bars and dried fruit are portable and nutritional and can be carried with you from the hotel room to the car to avoid having to double-up on bringing extra emergency food.

– Familiarize yourself with your hotel or resort’s evacuation procedures and know where all of the emergency exits are. Hotels are required by law to post these and most are found on the back of your hotel room door. Read it and figure out where the nearest exits are from your room in advance.

– Make sure you have insurance that covers you while you are away. Not all insurance policies cover international travel so if you are unsure, call and ask. Purchasing travel insurance is always cheaper than paying overseas medical bills.

While disaster planning isn’t top-of-mind when vacation planning, it is important to always be prepared. Chances are, you may be away from home when disaster strikes and it pays to think ahead.