Our hearts go out to natural disaster victims from all over the
world including recent ones in Houston, Florida and Mexico.
Disasters are hard enough when you are home, but they can take
more complexity when you are travelling.
If you were travelling to a trade show or large event
check out their website to see the status of the event. Some may
choose to cancel, shorten or re-schedule. Make sure to check
this before you travel or ship last minute items if there is the
possibility of an emergency in the area.
Convention Center Links
Here are links to some of the top trade show venues for
Shipping & Insurance
The possibility of unexpected emergencies is yet
another reason to take pictures of everything in your crates
before you ship your exhibit. Once an emergency is imminent you
may want to change shipping schedules to ensure your assets can
be away from the emergency area as soon as possible. If your
companyís assets were damaged during a storm, and you can do so
safely, it is a good idea to take pictures of the damaged
equipment for insurance purposes. Contact vendors as soon as
possible and let them know about the situation. You may need to
fill out insurance forms if there have been damages to your
If you fear a disaster will impact your travel plans be
sure to call your airline as soon as possible.
You can then try to change your flights as needed before they
get booked. If you have a travel agent call them also. If
your airline is unable to help, your agent may be able to make
alternate arrangements. Note that most hotels will not refund
any deposits unless the area they are in is under local
evacuation orders. Keep an eye on the news. or listen to NOAA
Weather Radio before you drive somewhere. This is incredibly
important if you are in or near the affected areas. If they
recommend not travelling, re-schedule. It is not a bad idea to
download an app onto your
smartphone that allows you to access maps without cell
service such as
Navmii, Navigon or
Google Maps offline feature.
Contact your loved ones, business associates and
coworkers. This way they know you are safe, what the plan is for
any scheduled business meetings and next steps. This is
especially important if youíre in or near the affected areas. In
fact, it is probably a good idea to ensure that your loved ones
know where you plan to stay during a business trip and how they
can contact you in the event that phones are not working.
Charge your phone and keep it charged, especially
before you head out on the road. If you have not done so
already, buy a portable
charger! If phone lines are unreliable try texting as texts
will sometimes go through when phone calls will not. Note that
if it is an emergency you may need to call 911 as some emergency
agencies are not equipped to receive texts. For more emergency
communication tips check out the
FEMA site. Other apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp and
Zello allow people to communicate when phone lines are down.
Also note that you can use your phone to call 911 even when you
donít have coverage so it is not a bad idea to
keep an old cell phone in your emergency kit.
Bring chargers with you and keep all your electronics
charged. If you are trying to get back home donít check your
bag. If you did not bring a carry on consider arranging to ship
your bag (your hotel may be able to help) and using an
inexpensive duffle as a carry on. Getting on alternative flights
or renting a car would be much simpler without a checked bag. If
you do check your bag make sure to keep your medications, keys,
and critical personal items in your carry-on. Keep emergency
supplies. Itís a good idea to keep a small first aid kit, cell
phone battery booster and charging cords, Ziploc bags and
flashlight with your luggage and if you are in an emergency area
carry it with you. Also, have emergency toiletries, glasses,
comfortable shoes and a change of clothes on you, just in case
you get stranded overnight. Also, keep snacks in your carry-on
just in case. Good portable options include granola bars, dried
fruit, nuts and a refillable water bottle.
If you are driving and spot a tornado, itís first
recommended to find a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter
to go in. If you are caught in the storm and there are no nearby
buildings, you can take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the
seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket,
coat or other cushion if possible. Alternatively, it is
recommended to lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of
the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket,
coat or other cushion. Do not drive into a flooded area
especially during a storm as your car may be swept away.
Some of these tips came from
How To Handle Disasters When you are on a Business Trip from
roadwarriret.com. This is a great resource that not only
outlines what to pack, but also some great organizations taking
donations for those affected by recent storms. Also referenced
Hurricane Irma: Prepare your Smartphone for catastrophic
conditions article published in USA Today.
Let us know what you have done to prepare for or react to a
trade show or business event emergency.
© 2917 by Sofia Troutman