What Should Hotels Do In A Blackout Emergency

A hotel full of people in the dark could get ugly.

A hotel blackout can be a source of fear, panic and chaos if not handled properly. Blackouts happen suddenly, catching both employees and guests off-guard. The key to addressing a hotel blackout as hotel staff is to act as if you have not been surprised by the blackout. Follow the procedures your staff team has outlined for blackout emergencies to the letter, and keep guests as informed as possible throughout the process.

Demeanor

“Professional Management of Housekeeping Operations” by Thomas Jones writes that staff demeanor in the event of a blackout is of utmost importance. Guests will be looking to you not only for the practical steps of dealing with problem, but for your overall attitude about the situation. Staff should remain calm and seek updated information via walkie-talkie, radio or other cellular device. Staff will be expected to know what’s happening moment-by-moment, and should be able to provide these details as calmly as possible.

Report

The manager on duty should call the company that supplies his hotel’s power and verify whether this is a neighborhood-wide blackout, or simply an issue with his hotel. As he learns these details, he should have a spokesperson relay these facts to hotel guests via loudspeaker. The nature of the problem will modify the steps to be taken. If an evacuation is not absolutely necessary, hotel guests should stay where they are until the power is turned back on.

Action

When the details of the blackout are gathered, guests should either be instructed to stay put or evacuate. If the power will be back on shortly, it is best for guests to stay exactly where they are, as moving about the hotel in the dark could be dangerous. If the blackout could possibly be a signal of a larger electrical problem, or is unexplained, it is best that guests evacuate. Your hotel should have an evacuation plan for other disasters, such as fires, and should follow this plan exactly as it is written.

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