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Be Ready: The Crucial Need for Hurricane Air Evacuation Planning

Updated: 5 days ago

Evacuation Preparedness Checklist

With hurricanes and other threats ever present, it is crucial for emergency management and resort management personnel to be aware of the tool of emergency airlift evacuations. With commercial flights often cancelled during severe weather events, air charter flights become the only viable option for safely evacuating guests, employees, and family members. It is essential to plan ahead and not wait until a hurricane forms to create an evacuation plan.

Five Tips for Your Hurricane Airlift Evacuation Program

1) Familiarize Yourself with Evacuation Services Before You Need Them

Unfortunately, many airlift evacuation programs are cobbled together as a storm is bearing down on the people in harm's way. Have evacuation conversations in advance, vet providers, and understand how the process works. Communicate to potential evacuees what will be expected of them, what they should bring with them, and what they should leave behind.

2) Establish a Services Agreement Ahead of Time

Negotiating evacuation services and contract language should be done well in advance of any threat to persons and property. Time is of the essence. Ask for terms and conditions beforehand, and enter into a no-cost services agreement to ensure you have an air charter services vendor ready to assist when needed.

3) Establish Clear Communication Channels

Effective communication is vital during an emergency. Ensure you have multiple methods of reaching out to guests, staff, and family members. Inform everyone about the evacuation plan, and provide clear instructions. Make use of various communication tools such as emails, text alerts, social media updates, and public announcements. Coordination with your airlift provider must also be seamless. Everyone involved should know who to contact, how to receive updates, and what steps to follow.

4) Conduct Regular Drills and Training

Preparedness is greatly enhanced through regular drills and training sessions. Conduct simulated evacuation exercises to practice the plan and identify any potential issues. Training should include all stakeholders, such as employees, emergency airlift service providers, airport, and local authorities to build a cohesive response team. Practicing under different scenarios helps ensure that everyone knows their roles and can act swiftly and efficiently when it counts.

5) Create a Backup Plan

Even the best-laid plans can go awry, so it is essential to have a backup plan. Stockpile essential supplies such as water, food, and medical kits to support individuals until they can be transported safely. Having multiple layers of contingency plans ensures your readiness no matter how circumstances evolve.

Adhering to these guidelines forms a robust hurricane preparedness evacuation program that can save lives and ensure safety. Remember, preparation and timely action are your best defenses against the devastating effects of a hurricane. For over 25 years our Hurricane Evacuation Airlift Team (HEAT) has assisted clients with emergency air charter evacuations. Contact us 24/7/365 to create your evacuation airlift plan at / 603-890-0044.


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