Natural Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead, But You Can

October 02, 2017 | 2587 Views

Natural Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead, But You Can

Michele Lange

Director of Training and Development | The Habit Burger Grill

Who would have thought the month of September would turn out to be such a trying time for many of our team members, families, and CHART friends. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, as well as other natural disasters, have left a trail of destruction. And just weeks ago, a deadly earthquake rocked Mexico.  I followed our CHART friends on social media checking to make sure those in the affected areas were safe. 

I work for a west coast-based company with restaurants now along the east coast and we were not as prepared as we could have been to handle Hurricane Irma. I’m not sure if anyone is ever 100% prepared. Through our home office and field teams and reaching out to our insurance company and subject matter experts, we came up with a solid plan. In the end, we were lucky; our team members and stores made it through. My question to you is, “Do you have a crisis management plan in place should a natural disaster occur?” I have to guess for many, the answer is no. This is a serious question to ask yourself and to discuss with your operations and senior leadership teams. The training department can take a leadership role by creating training materials and helping to put together a crisis management plan. 

In doing some research, I found out the month of September is National Preparedness Month. The website,, is a great resource to help you get started to create your own plan. This not only applies to your hotels and restaurants, but also to you personally (and your pets). The website provides information to help you prepare and handle situations beyond natural disasters such as active shooters, cyber security, and pandemics. There are checklists, toolkits, and lists of resources available. Many of us think “this will never happen to me.” Natural disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can.  

On behalf of the Board and myself, our hearts go out to our CHART family, many who had severe damage to their personal property and also their hotels and restaurants. In this trying time and on the road of recovery ahead, know that your CHART family is here for you.

When your stores or people are hit with these events, Kathleen Wood, in a free, previously-recorded CHART webinar shares some very useful tips on how to lead through the crisis.


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