Emergency Planning and Preparedness 

AH&LA is the lodging industry's central conduit for information and preparedness resources, offering a nationwide network of experts in loss prevention, disaster preparedness, research, and communications to help members think and act ahead. In addition, AH&LA cooperates closely with government and private entities to:

  • coordinate disaster response
  • disseminate classified advisories from the Department of Homeland Security
  • channel information between hoteliers and relief agencies
  • link members to consultation and recovery funds
  • serve as the industry's voice to the media on every topic from hurricanes to labor issues.

A commitment to planning today will help support employees, guests, the community, and the local economy. And of course, thorough planning is the key to protecting your property and giving your business a strong chance for survival.

This section offers resources and advice for preparing an actionable strategy, both before and after a crisis.

Tornado Resources

If your property has been affected by a tornado, the following resources may be beneficial:

  • The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Agency's HUD National Housing Locator provides disaster survivors assistance locating and obtaining available properties.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration officers are on the ground in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia to assist disaster survivors with questions and disasters loan applications.
  • The IRS is providing tax filing and tax payment relief for individuals and businesses covering the period of April 15, 2011 to June 30, 2011.
  • The Red Cross created this Tornado Safety Checklist.
  • Visit FEMA's disaster assistance Website  

To donate much-needed cash to the affected families, you can text "Red Cross" to 90999 or text GIVE to 80888 (Salvation Army) to donate $10, or give to the fund of your choice at American Red Cross.

For other recognized disaster relief organizations, the National Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster (NVOAD) Website has a list of major non-profits that are active in disaster work. 

Preparation and Relief Efforts for Hurricanes

Tips for You and Your Employees  

  1. Have a plan for evacuation and safety, as well as an emergency supply kit with a radio.  
  2. Subscribe to local emergency alerts via text messages on your mobile phone from your state or local governments where available.  
  3. Plan to send alerts (voicemail/text) to employees by mobile phone in emergencies.  
  4. Coordinate with state and local emergency management officials, from planning to response and recovery. Find your state emergency manager here .  

Additional Resources  

FEMA has trained full-time staff and reservists on standby, ready to deploy to impacted communities to work directly with private sector employers, and you can take the following action:  

  • Contact FEMA regional offices  
  • Post the FEMA hurricane preparedness widget on internal and external Websites  
  • Access the FEMA Hurricane Preparedness Webpage  

Lessons From Past Hurricanes – see what hoteliers would have done differently and learn how you can be prepared.

Find storm information and weather alerts at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service .  

You can find additional information on preparedness from Ready.gov and Ready Business. 

Flood Planning Tools & Tips

Check out an interactive mapping tool that shows flood history across the nation, down to the county level, with data regarding past floods and their causes. Based on information from NOAA/National Weather Service, floods can and do affect nearly every place in the United States. For more details click here, and click here to view a risk map update schedule that shows, by zip, when your flood map was last updates and or when it will become effective. 

DHS and Other Resources

In the aftermath of the April 15 Boston bombings, the Department of Homeland Security disseminated a wide range of resources designed to help private sector businesses, including hoteliers and lodging professionals, train themselves in methods of ensuring a safe environment for staff and guests, and to identify the warning signs for potential terrorist activity. 

Links to the DHS downloadable materials, along with other AH&LA resources:

Bag Search Guide 

Bomb Threat Stand-off Card 

Commercial Facility Risk Self-Assessment Tool 

Hazardous Chemicals Poster 

Peroxide Advisory 

Private Sector Advisory Cards 

Suspicious Behavior Poster 

AH&LA Guest Safety Tips 

Members Only Emergency Resources 

Get Involved in National Preparedness

Popular links & downloadable materials : 

Crisis Planning for Terrorist Attacks

AH&LA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have joined forces on an initiative to encourage and educate lodging employees to recognize, report, and react to suspicious and crisis situations that occur on property. 

Posters are available for the customized version of the DHS “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, which encourage employees to report suspicious activity to the proper lodging and law enforcement authorities. EI also offers Eye on Awareness a best practices security and terrorism awareness online training program. The program focuses on the “awareness level” and provides hotel employees with a premier set of skill and knowledge components, including, but not limited to, housekeeping, maintenance, front desk, guest services, food and beverage, transportation, and parking departments.training module. 

The AH&LA Loss Prevention Committee teamed with DHS to create a guide, video, and threat assessment document specifically to help hoteliers plan and manage security at their facilities. 

The Certified Lodging Security Director (CLSD) review materials and exam include new information from DHS on terrorism threats and hazards and protective measures for lodging; USA PATRIOT Act information; information from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on standards important to security directors; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information; and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards affecting security. 


Review and share with your staff the Department of Homeland Security's reference materials on dealing with an active shooter on premises: DHS Active Shooter Response BookletDHS Active Shooter Pocket Guide, and DHS Active Shooter Poster.

AH&LA members: View this free Webinar, Protecting People & Property: Safeguarding Hotels from the Threat of Terrorism, hosted by DHS, available in the Webinar Archive section of the members only site.


Useful Links

U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
Red Cross 
Federal Emergency Management Agency 
Center of Disease Control and Prevention