Guests venture to your remote lodge to escape technology and the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. You offer them a unique outdoor experience; a chance to rest and feel refreshed.
While your guests are in your care, you have the responsibility of keeping them safe by providing a hazard-free premise.
But, what if the unexpected happens? A guest suffers an injury requiring immediate medical attention. How does the guest call for help?
Imagine the following scenario:
You’ve arrived from the city to a remote location. You’re excited for some R&R with a close friend. It’s a beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky when you and your friend set off for a day of fishing. You find the perfect spot about 15 minutes from the lodge and anchor down. Suddenly, your friend grabs his chest and collapses in the boat. Heart attack?! You don’t have time to waste! You have cell reception, so you dial 911 … oh no! There is no 911 service for the area. If there was 911 service, would you know the address to the resort? What would you do next?
In an emergency, there’s no way to predict how a guest will respond: some freeze or panic, some kick into high alert. Providing your guests with the necessary information to get help faster is to their benefit and yours.
What Can You Do?
Waterfront Safety Standards requires that signage near your beach state the resort location and who to call in an emergency. It is best practice to have this information listed in other areas of your resort such as the guest information book in your cottages.
A Communication Plan is Key
Discuss a communication plan with each guest. Know their timeline, planned activities for the day, and location (on the lake or in the bush). Review how they can contact you if they get lost, experience motor problems or are in medical distress. A plan will also help you to identify when it’s time to start searching for a missing guest.
If you are not in a 911 service area, consider providing your guests with the following:
- The contact information of the local fire hall or dispatch office, as well as an address or set of coordinates (whichever is most appropriate for your location). This information is vital to reducing the response time for first responders.
- Post your office number. If there is an emergency, the guest can call the office for further assistance. Your office can then call first responders on behalf of the guest.
- Provide them with a GPS tracker they can use to check-in or call for help.
There are many benefits to keeping the lines of communication open with your guests. You will both have peace of mind knowing that appropriate safety measures are in place so that guests can enjoy their reprieve. Taking the time to prepare an emergency plan for guests, and to train your staff on this plan, will save lives. Keeping your guests safe and cared for will ensure they return to your resort for years to come.
How do you prepare for an unexpected emergency at your remote resort? Do you have additional advice to offer? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.