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As an Airbnb host, ensuring the safety and preparedness of your guests in emergency situations is of high importance. Using insights from our resource page "Preparing Your Space and Your Guests for Emergencies," we will look into essential strategies and best practices that Hosts can easily implement to create a secure and comfortable environment for their guests.
By focusing on key areas such as emergency planning, safety information, and necessary equipment, this comprehensive article aims to empower hosts with the knowledge and tools to effectively handle unexpected events and enhance the overall safety of their hosting spaces.
What safety procedures do you have in place in your home? Share your tips with fellow Hosts!
@Bhumika This is a good topic because of the fires in different countries in the northern hemisphere. This should be a warning for those living in the sourthern hemisphere when it is our turn for summer.
My graetest concern is when an Airbnb has a remote host because when an extreme environmental weather occurs eg. floods, storm damage and bushfires.
When these rare environmental incidents occur there is often issues that arise when guest and host are affected and Airbnb doesn't understand why a Host has to cancel and be penalised with a back and forewards communication.
Guest doesn't live in the local area and doesn't have or know local knowledge regarding weather conditions and how it effects. Roads are closed, flooding, damage to properties, electric power and telecom towers are down power, water supplies or sewage and gas breakdowns. When these incidents occur they can effect supply of food, water, petrol, shops closed and unable to do online communication and banking.
As we live onsite and warnings have been sent out we can interact and personal verbally communicate with guests . We can give them a battery radio and torches+ batteries, containers of fresh water and porta gas stove for basic cooking. We also have a generator for emergency power that is required and enough food to share with guests.
We are able to communicate where to go for local emergency accommodation if the situation becomes dangerous, this will effect us too.
The bottom line is, hosts need to be prepared and have a plan in place and if is environmental and affects your property and you live remotely, you can not rely on someone else because they are dealing with their own issues.
Lastly, this is where Airbnb have to listen to the host first because they know what is happening in their country and local area, where the environmental incident has happened and have more knowledge.
As you clearly said,
"My greatest concern is when an Airbnb has a remote host because when an extreme environmental weather occurs eg. floods, storm damage and bushfires. Guest doesn't live in the local area and doesn't have or know local knowledge regarding weather conditions and how it affects. Roads are closed, flooding, damage to properties, electric power and telecom towers are down power, water supplies or sewage and gas breakdowns. When these incidents occur they can affect supply of food, water, petrol, shops closed and unable to do online communication and banking."
Snow is another one on the list, after this winter reminding us all.
This is the "get serious" part of being a host. These things can happen in metropolitan areas as well as remote ones. Being responsible for the well-being of our guests needs to be considered in this business. Not just for disasters but for every day maintenance; noticing safety hazards and anticipating what a dazzled guest might trip over. Not just for legal reasons, but for caring for and about our honored guests and fellow humans.
Hi, @Laurelle3 Thank you for sharing your concerns and insights regarding this.
I would agree that recent bushfires in the northern hemisphere have definitely resurfaced concerns about awareness of potential risks and the need for caution and preparedness.
We would wish to know more about your experiences and how you developed such a comprehensive plan to support guests during emergencies. Have you encountered any specific incidents in the past where your preparedness and personal communication made a significant difference for your guests?
Thanks for bringing this topic! It is close to home for us, and should be for everyone, imho.
We are required by local ordinance to be present here on the property at all times when guests are here. That is wise, as we are more prepared than most of our guests, and they can relax with us here. Being present on the property, in a home share, is an advantage for us, and for our guests. An advantage for safety, for resources, access, and response in any emergency.
When we were resort managers, we became volunteer firefighters, trained, drilled and improved on the existing fire safety procedures for the property. We also maintained the cable car that enabled access and egress when mountain snowmelt caused the stream to flood enough that cars - and foot traffic - could not get in or out.
We were aware that guests don't deal with these things in their city homes, so it was up to us to be on top of things. It was quite good training for living and hosting, here and now!
Here we are also aware of potential hazards, such as fire, earthquake, storms and their possible consequences.
We have "no open flames" indoors or out and "no smoking anything anywhere on the property" in our rules. California is a region of extreme fire hazard. It is natural, normal and necessary for lightning caused fire here, in the West. The presence of people and homes in the urban/wildlands interface is the issue.
In every room we have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, exit plan listings, CO alarms, windows that open, doors to the outside. First aid supplies are also accessible.
We have a firefighting pump station near the house with hose, tools and a takeoff for CalFire to access. We've abundant water stored, plus a valve that connects all the storage, the well, and the pump station. We are close by air to CalFire HQ for their helicopters and tankers to be here quickly in event of a fire. There is an air patrol that watches the thousands of acres of woodlands and many cameras that augment the fire lookout arrangements. We have a local Firewise organization, one of many, that is about prevention and response. CalFire has visited our property to learn about it, and to offer suggestions on how to best support them. We live here full time, so preparations and safety features are here for us, as well. Working on our firebreak is a constant, never ending project, as is road maintenance, ditch and culvert cleaning.
We are not connected to the electrical grid, and we have our own well, fuel and water storage, so we are accustomed to being without public utilities. For guests, it is a novelty, and a potential learning experience. For us it is a lifestyle of paying attention, being resourceful and resilient.
The resource page you link to is excellent, thanks for referencing it. I consider that it is a source to read and re-read regularly. Guests are staying in unfamiliar surroundings, and we really are responsible to notice these things for them.
With emphasis: Being present on the property, in a home share, is an advantage for us, and for our guests.
@Kitty-and-Creek0 hearing from you again and where you live off the grid and the infrastructure that you have in place.
Keeping large properties takes time for keeping the firebrands maintained.
Thinking of the Call Fire department that you mentioned reminded me of my brother who lives remote on a property/farm had their local Bush Fire Brigade come out prior to last last year's fires which was spread by fire bombs travelling in the air only lost a couple of out- buildings
They could have lost more if they weren't prepared.
Yes, I agree with you that hosts need to be with their guests or close by to give hands on advice.
Take care as we are watching Downunder as to what is possible for our summer. Preparing with cleaning gutters. Checking we have our tennis balls and socks to block the gutters so that we can fill with water. Leaving no leaves from our winter deciduous trees lying around, checking that our spare pumps for water tanks are working. Generators are functioning with fuel, extra batteries and torches are working, extra basic food supplies.
Lastly as @Kitty-and-Creek0 has said we have to be prepared in advance and not leave it until the warnings are sent out.
So good to hear from you! Thanks for the update. I'm glad your brother came out OK from that adventure. As you said, preparation is essential.
We, too, have to pay attention to gutters, both for preserving integrity of roof and fascia, and for collecting rain water from the roof. That collection is part of our water storage for fire fighting preparation. We have 6 months rain and 6 months drought in this climate. We also depend, like. you, on generators when there is not enough solar collection. Fuel storage maintenance is vital, as are torch batteries, palatable food stored and a dependable water source.
We followed an Australian family's story about building an underground space for fire shelter, and were thrilled that it worked for them in the last big one. We have some underground storage, a traditional way of keeping the harvest for the winter and spring.
Then, again, if one must evacuate, it is important to have a "go bag" of essentials, including medicines. We must also resolve that leaving our house and treasures behind is going to be necessary. Keeping a cool head in an evacuation is a challenge, and best led by example.
For earthquakes, there are some things we can do for preparation, including storage of food and water, batteries, flashlights, warm things, etc. Being in a wood framed house is an excellent start, especially after the house is properly bolted to the foundations. We trust there will be no major shaking while guests are here, but that is completely out of our control. Most California - and Japan - residents are familiar with the earth moving under their feet, and our spectacular landscapes are their creation. The "Ring of Fire" is a geologically active phenomenon, exciting for sure.
Such a valuable discussion!
Hi @Kitty-and-Creek0 ,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It is so evident that you take safety preparedness seriously, and it's so great to hear how you've taken the initiative to make your property a safe and welcoming space for both you and your guests. I think many hosts would agree that being present on the property, in a home share, is an advantage.
I love how you mention researching enough, having taken necessary training and how much it has helped to ensure the safety and comfort of your guests. This makes me curious to know more about your time as resort managers and volunteer firefighters. How did those experiences shape your approach to hosting and safety measures on your property?
Could you tell us more about your local Firewise organization and how it supports prevention and response efforts? It will be good learning for other hosts living in a similar vicinity.
Thank you again for sharing such fantastic examples of responsible hosting and preparedness. I have learned so much from reading about your experience!
Thanks for asking about our fire safety educational groups. This is the national organization:
This is our county wide regional one. Under this one are neighborhood groups specific to our local issues, characteristics, challenges, and conditions.
For example, with these mountain roads, remote residences, and steep terrain, access by responders and evacuation by residents is nontraditional. Our response comes from the air and is beyond excellent.
Our resort management was in the early and mid 1970’s. We were responsible for 12 full sized handcrafted houses, art pieces, on 25 remote acres. About 50 guests would grace the property, 12 miles from town. Of course we took the college course in fire science, and as volunteer firefighters we trained regularly. We became proficient on equipment, and familiar with property types. Our water source was primarily the stream that runs through the canyon so we trained on the various pumps that we hauled down the bank to the water. The resort property had a pumper truck on draft to a cistern, and pump stations in appropriate locations.
We acquainted our guests with the proper manner to build a fireplace fire, use the BBQ and operate the fire extinguishers.
Cabins and campgrounds in the area were a fire concern, as was lightning. We were fortunate that forest fires in the region did not make it to the property. Here as well! In the past years we’ve had massive wildfires here, that mercifully did not make it to our ranch.
We are fortunate to have had this training and experience. It is as necessary as is fire and earthquakes.
Here's a link to a short article that is well presented. Well worth sharing!
Most replies here concern themselves with large-scale emergencies, such as fire, flood, snow. I would like to take a minute to mention that preparing your house for "household emergencies" is also useful.
A box of baking soda in the kitchen cabinet for small grease fires. A fire extinguisher in the kitchen cabinet for bigger problems with cooking. A link in household info on how to put out a grease fire on YouTube. Who knows, somebody could save a life by clicking that link and knowing to put a lid on a pan that has burning grease in it to extinguish the flame (did YOU know that?).
A first aid kit with some Neosporin and bandaids and peroxide for scrapes and scratches. Benedril for allergic bee stings. Bug repellent. Extra toothbrushes and small toothpaste tubes.
Sunblock and aloe for the guests, if they need it, during the summer.
And in the household information, contact phone numbers and addresses of nearby urgent care centers and ERs and fire and police.
It is more likely that a sunburned guest will appreciate your $2 gift of aloe, than need evacuation routes for wildfires.
So far in our suite we have a fire exit map, a fire extinguisher, moisture detector for flooding, fire alarms, security system in case of a break in, widows that open outward that people can fit through. In case of a power outages or other disasters we have back up food, flashlights, water, first aid kit and medical supplies. We live on site so we can always go downstairs and give these to our guests if needed. I would like to include another first aid kit in the suit for them too.
Also when it snows here we have sand and salt to melt the snow/ice so people can walk safely.
We have fire extinguishers everywhere there's gas being used. We have a carbon monoxide sensor and smoke detectors in the tent. We have a first aid kit, we have security camera
well, if there's a power outage there is not much i can do. there's flashlights i provide and the heat is on (gas). there is first aid kit, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. i guess my question is do i refund the guest for the day/days they have no power, even though it is mentioned on my site that sometimes there's power outage and we do not have a generator?
@MariaCecilia22 good question. It is a question that all host have to ask themselves.
In the past we have had no internet. I do have it written in my information. What I did was give them a refund the amount I charge for extra person and only for that day.
But we are prepared with the bushfire season and have gone through the list.
However our council and state give warnings is for all tourists to leave.