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The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) just announced a Disaster Preparedness Manual, which will be distributed to industry stakeholders for the hurricane season 2018.
The prevention and preparedness phase against hurricanes includes structural and nonstructural vulnerability assessments, maintenance requirements, retrofitting requirements, emergency supplies, mutual aid agreements, guest information, training, insurance, community liaison, vital records, guest security, weather information, and media communication requirements.
CHTA said in a statement that the purpose of the guide, financed by both the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund and Expedia, is to supplement local efforts to develop communications preparedness and the response and recovery process for CHTA members, national tourism organizations, and public and private sector industry stakeholders before, during and after a potential disaster.
The Atlantic hurricane season 2017 was hyperactive and catastrophic with a damage total of at least $282.16 billion (USD) and was the costliest season on record, surpassing the previous record holder, the 2005 season.
Losses were high for the tourism industry which is the main Caribbean economic resource.
In addition, 2017 was also the deadliest season since 2005. More than 99.7 percent of the season’s damage was due to three of the season’s major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Another notable hurricane, Nate, was the worst natural disaster in Costa Rican history; Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate had their names retired due to their high damage costs and loss of life. Featuring 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes, the 2017 season ranks alongside 1936 as the fifth-most active season since records began in 1851.
“As part of CHTA’s multi-pronged and ongoing efforts to help islands recover from last year’s devastating hurricane season, the Association’s representatives contributed to many executive sessions which focused on continuing preparations for this year’s storm activity and on addressing long-term recovery needs.” CHTA added.
The CHTA said its involvement in CGI’s deliberations followed closely on the heels of its announcement with non-profit organization, Tourism Cares, that their joint initiative – the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund – has raised more than US$275,000 in charitable donations to build long-term recovery and enhance the ability of hurricane-impacted destinations to rebound as quickly as possible.
“Donors’ generosity has facilitated assistance to Caribbean nationals for training and education, restoring destination capacity, the physical restoration of tourism-related infrastructure, social enterprise development, job creation, hotel training, volunteerism, marketing and public relations support, and the environment,” it said.
Hurricanes have great destructive power. Studies indicate that one of the effects of climate change in the Caribbean is precisely the increase of that power.
Among the main consequences of these atmospheric phenomena are the wind damage, one of the most destructive aspects, collapse of buildings, flying debris, rain Damage, flood Damage and storm Surge.