3 Tips to help your campground survive the Coronavirus panic.
Right now, all campground owners should be monitoring and addressing employee and guest concerns regarding COVID-19 virus. While it may seem drastic, you need to develop an emergency plan.
All campground and resort owners should ask themselves;
- How will this affect me?
- What could this look like long term?
- What should I do to prepare?
Not knowing where to start is okay, just wash your hands, take a deep breath.
First thing to note, there are differences between an outbreak, an epidemic, and a pandemic, and each can impact your business differently.
- Outbreak: An outbreak occurs any time a disease spreads more often than statistically normal in a specific geographic area.
- Epidemic: An epidemic is the wide-spread outbreak of disease across multiple communities in a short period of time.
- Pandemic: Is a global outbreak that impacts communities worldwide.
Source: World Health Organization
COVID-19 has entered the pandemic category, and has impacted communities all over the world.
Even if your campground or resort is not directly affected by sick employees, guests, or school closures, your supply line might be slowed or halted depending on what happens in your area.
The best thing to do right now is to keep yourself informed, and do your best to stay healthy — not just for your sake, but for the most vulnerable in our communities who depend on our health for their health.
Short-Term Strategies You Can Implement Right Now
1. Develop a Communications Plan.
Point your employees and contractors to reputable sources of information and do what you can to mitigate panic. Develop a streamlined source of communication for worried employees. Be honest. Be empathetic (people are worried).
Be proactive, not reactive. Emails, a web page dedicated to providing up to date information and social media is a great way to show your employees and guests that their safety is of the utmost importance to you and your business.
2. Develop An Emergency Plan
What are the steps you will take if:
- You or your employees become ill
- Schools close
- Work events are canceled
- You cannot receive supplies because of closed borders.
Conferences, sporting events and gatherings with 200 people or more are already being canceled.
Use this time to update your website and let staff and guests know of your plan. Check to see if your business insurance updated? If you don’t have insurance, look into the options you have for protecting your business in a disaster or emergency.
Where should employees receive communication about business developments? Who should employees talk to if they are worried about their health plan or sick leave?
Your emergency plan is a living document, plan to revisit it often.
3. Limit Community Spread
COVID-19 virus is caused by close contact with an infected person who may or may not be symptomatic. Symptomatic employees should stay home and self-isolate. We need to exercise caution and allow the flexibility for workers to stay home without penalty if they are sick or need to care for someone who is sick.
Another thing to consider regarding community spread is to rethink what you ask guests to touch/engage with. How often and how deeply are you cleaning community areas? Make a plan.
What If My City Is Quarantined?
A city-wide quarantine could happen if a COVID-19 outbreak needs containment, and that decision would certainly alter any attempts to continue “business as usual.”
Currently, the quarantine for COVID-19 is 14 days in isolation. We don’t know what is going to happen at the moment, so the only thing you can do is prepare and have a plan in place for quarantine. Expect losses and disruptions, prepare for them, and communicate wholly with your staff.
Why Planning Is Important For Your Campground
If you haven’t planned effectively for the emergencies or disasters that might occur, you could be left adrift in the middle of a crisis without the right tools. Pandemic planning is important.
Think about your geographic area and preparations you make for other natural disasters Whether it’s an earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane, man-caused disaster, or pandemic, you should have a plan. You must communicate that plan and ease the worries of those you employ, serve, and meet in the community. In an emergency, we often learn that we are all in this together.
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