Travelers fail to pack emergency preparedness
With the threat of severe weather, how do people visiting northern Michigan prepare for the worst while on vacation?
Hotels and resorts have plans in place for evacuations and severe weather, but it turns out, not many visitors know what to do.
â??I'm not from here so I don't know,â?? said Rose Gesaman, traveling from Indiana. â??We haven't really paid that much attention to thinking about where we would go if something happened. It's a good point.â??
â??I would like it to be free and clear. We're on vacation!â?? said Tammy Gordon from Crown Point, Indiana.
â??I really wouldn't know what to do,â?? confessed Tom Gordon, Tammyâ??s husband. â??As long as I stayed calm and people don't get excited, I think everything would be okay. But you hear bad stories.â??
â??I hope they have [procedures] in place, but no, I don't think about it too much,â?? said John Ockert, visiting the Great Wolf Lodge.
Hotels and resorts are prepared. They keep emergency evacuation information on the inside every room. They also train for the worst-case scenarios.
â??We do what's called an "invacuation" or an internal evacuation,â?? explained Scott Newland, Aquatics Manager at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City.
Employees at the Great Wolf Lodge do annual drills, complete with sirens and evacuations. In an emergency, they bring everyone down into the conference centers.
In the past five years, Newland says they haven't had to deal with tornado warnings.
â??It is rare. We want to prevent what we can and prepare for what we can't. Just because we very rarely have to use these procedures, it's very important that they're not only in place, but that we train on them, that are pack members know them so that we can quickly, efficiently, and safely assist our guests in any type of emergency.
Some tourists take the time to check over those procedures.
Tammy Gordon says she experienced a fire at a hotel, and now prepares for emergencies.
â??The fire alarm went off right after we got back, so we all exited the building. So now whenever I go to a hotel, I always look to see where the exit signs are at because I lived it,â?? recalled Gordon.
A Traverse City family recently took a trip to Kansas to visit family. They say being prepared is necessary in every situation, but especially when traveling through areas known for tornadoes.
â??We do talk about it on the way out,â?? said Sue Oleniczak. â??If it happened on the highway where would we take shelter? Thereâ??s a lot of things to consider.â??