There is a first time for everything – last night it was hearing the words Force Majeure during a musical! Disaster! – A 70s Disaster Movie Musical – a creative, fun off-Broadway show that incorporates 70s music with parodies of disaster movies (think The Poseidon Adventure meets Earthquake meets Jaws, etc.). I was enjoying the music and laughing at the stories, but then the planner in me started relating to one of the lead characters, the “disaster expert.” He was thinking about fire doors, safety inspections, evacuation procedures and contingency plans. As hospitality professionals we should always be wearing our risk management hats thinking about the “what ifs” – helping to minimize the possibly that something will happen and mitigating the consequences if it does happen.
In most disaster movies the theory is “it can never happen here” or “it can’t happen to us.” Instead of that attitude, someone needs to think about what could happen and if it does how will we handle it. How do we protect our people and our property? Have we assessed potential risks in the destination or facility? What plans are in place to keep the risk from escalating into a disaster? If you don’t already do so, make sure that you add a risk assessment to your planning checklist so your meeting can be an “Afternoon Delight” instead of “The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia” (cue the disco balls & feathered hair!).