If you are in the hospitality industry, then you must already know about the importance of a disaster recovery plan. There are various challenges that hotels face during a disaster. Most hotels should already have a disaster recovery plan. This plan will help you in protecting your guests. However, most hotels don’t have a detailed plan that will help them in protecting their system. They mostly forget about their IT. In this article, we are going to share some tips that will help your hospitality industry in preparing for disaster.
Create a communication strategy
The effects of disaster won’t be limited to physical chaos only. You should ensure that your staff and guests know about your disaster recovery plan. They should know about hotel evacuations, weather conditions, and how your operations will get affected due to this disaster. Thus, you should work on creating a communication strategy.
There are various services available in the market that will help you in reaching out to guests. For example, you can use Kipsu for sending real-time alerts and text messages to your guests. This app will also help you in setting up group messaging. It will take emails and then convert them into text messages. This will ensure flexible communication.
Almost everyone will carry their cell phones with time. Thus, it is the best method to communicate with your guests. Your staff can easily reach out to your guests. This will ensure that they answer questions. Also, it will help your staff and guests in adapting the changing conditions.
Take care of your phone lines
You should be proactive about your phone lines. Make sure that you are taking care of them. You should re-route these lines before a disaster hits your city. This will ensure that your guests can use a phone for communicating with your office. Also, they can use a phone for communicating with other hotels.
You should tell your phone provider to enable the call forwarding feature. All the calls should be re-directed to a different phone number in case of a disaster. You should re-route your phone lines to your corporate line. This will ensure that your main office can communicate with your guests. They can provide refunds or new accommodations to your guests.
Anticipate internet and power outages
You should anticipate power outages during a disaster. If your IT systems are not getting power, then it will cause chaos. Most hotels are storing their serves in their server room. Thus, they will mostly internet access during a disaster. Internet connection is very important for your staff and guests. You need it for doing credit card transactions as these transactions will rely on servers. If your internet is down, then you can’t perform the credit card transitions.
Every hotel should have backup generators. These backup generators can provide you power during a power outage. However, you should also have a dedicated generator for your server room. This generator will ensure that your IT equipment will stay operational.
You can store all the credit card transactions on your local server. Once you have internet access you can process these transactions. Thus, it is very important to ensure that your on-premise storage is running. Your backup power will help you in running your on-premise server. You should also have at least one front desk computer. This will ensure that you can process your guest’s credit cards. You should also try to maintain multiple computers at the front desk.
If you don’t have a computer, then you can also use your mobile devices for running your hotel. Hotels can use technologies like square readers for storing their guest credit card information. It will help you in storing their credit card information on your mobile device. You can also use your laptop. All you need is a USB credit card reader, hotspot connection, and wireless adapter for processing their cards.
You can process all the credit cards after your systems are restored. This will ensure that you can collect information during a disaster. After a power outage, you can process the credit cards of your guest without asking them again.
You must have physical access to your guest rooms
Disasters will mostly trigger power outages in your city. Thus, your guests might lose access to their rooms. Most rooms are using modern electronic key readers. You must have emergency keys for dealing with this situation.
However, these keys have a short life of 2 years only. They will expire after 2 years. You should ensure that your emergency keys are functional. Thus, you should regularly check your keys after some time. This will ensure that you can access guest rooms during an actual disaster.
Properly label your hardware
You should try to save as much equipment as you can during a disaster. Thus, you need to quickly move things around. This will disrupt your business operations. For example, Florida is mostly hit by hurricanes and floods. Most hotels are storing their servers on their first floor. Thus, their server room is susceptible to damage. You should proactively move your servers to a higher floor. This will help you in protecting your servers from water damage.
First, you need to organize all your network connections. You should take a clear picture of your devices, plugs, and ports. Most hotels don’t have access to an in-house IT department. Thus, you should consider working with an experienced MSP like Bleuwire. They will help you during this process. Your partner will create a blueprint for your IT network. This will ensure that you can quickly put things back. The pictures of your network will act as a very important guide. It will help you in reducing connection errors. Thus, your MSP can help you in minimizing downtime.
Disasters are becoming unpredictable with time and you need to prepare for them. These tips will help you in preparing for a disaster. If you are worried about your preparation, then you should work with an experienced MSP like Bleuwire. They will help you in creating a disaster recovery plan. Also, they will help you during the entire process. This will ensure that you can stay operational during a disaster. If you need more information regarding disaster recovery, then you can contact Bleuwire.