How to Navigate and Travel in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters

Posted On: February 6, 2017

Disasters can hit anywhere on our planet and put a damper on well-intentioned travel plans. Whether you are thinking of offering an escape from the winter blues with employee travel incentives to the Caribbean or a rewards tour through Italy’s Tuscany region, natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes can drastically change how a trip is experienced, but such events don’t have to discourage travel altogether.

With our help at Docherty Incentives & Meetings, we want you to know that traveling in previous disaster areas can actually be the best option for everyone involved: you, your employees and the locals.

What is Considered a Disaster Area?

It’s important to know that a disaster area is an area that has been hit by a natural disaster and therefore is in a state of emergency and most likely in need of government aid. A perfect example of this was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. When a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, tsunami, etc., hit an area, it can cause serious destruction, but avoiding that area adds an additional layer of stress on the people who live there. The economic prosperity of someone having lived through a natural disaster is further from reach than ever before. Think of it this way: if someone loses their house and all their possessions to a flood, would they also want to lose their livelihood?

Is It Safe to Travel to a Disaster Area?

If the travel incentive destination has been declared a natural disaster area, the safety of your employees is our number one concern. We’d never recommend a travel incentive to a location with a predicted hurricane, for instance. But even if part of the Caribbean has been hit by a devastating hurricane, there are still places within those islands that remain unaffected. Other areas that have recently been affected by a natural disaster, will rely—more than ever—on tourism to help slowly rebuild. This could mean major incentives for you as you plan your next trip. We can even organize ways for your team to be helpful and contribute to those rebuilding efforts.

Every destination offers its own variety of pros and cons, no matter where you go. The ability to weigh the pros and cons of making the best trip out of each environment is where our team at Docherty Incentives & Meetings comes in to help. We work with local ground partners, businesses and organizations at your destination, ensuring vetted group venues, restaurants, accommodations, and activities that not only provide your employees with a unique and inspiring travel reward, but, in this case, potentially help to rebuild a community with volunteer efforts and opportunities.

Stay up-to-date on Destinations

While you may be packing your swimsuit for that mid-winter Caribbean trip, don’t forget to download some new smartphone apps to stay up-to-date on the current situation of the country you are visiting. While we will work to keep you in the loop, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the place you and your employees are heading towards. Here are a few different kinds of news apps you can upload before your trip:

Google Translate: Translation issues are a complete non-issue with the Google Translate app. There are 103 languages the app can translate for you on the fly. Without internet? Offline, Google Translate offers translation in 52 languages even when you don’t have internet available. Translate by drawing characters on a screen, translate via images, translate via speech. Just a few of the over 100 languages available for translation: Lao, Bengali, Hebrew, Turkish, Welsh, Italian, Czech, French, Urdu, Zulu, Chinese, Armenian and so many more. (iTunes and Google Play)

Feedly: This all in-one-app has rightfully earned 4.5 stars for its ability to keep you connected! You can simply search through the system to add travel blogs, favorite news websites, and even social media outlets to your account for faster, easier access. You can access the app to let family and friends know you’re safe, be notified of any potential concerns, and even share a jealous-worthy shot of the Caribbean. (iTunes and Google Play)

Google Reader: For those of you who simply want to sort through specific headlines and get recommendations based on your current location and interest, this is for you!      You can customize your country and personalize your topics of interest to make sure you are aware of any changes to the economic, environmental, or social system to calm your nerves. (iTunes and Google Play)

Flipboard: This is another quality social news app that comes highly rated. You can comb through your choices, mute topics of little interest to you, and even save a collection of topics to your personal page for easier access. (iTunes and Google Play)

These apps can be helpful to stay current and up-to-date, but that is something our team also takes into consideration and handles for you. At Docherty, we will stay in contact with you to set up any contingency plans, help you with what to pack, and ensure both quality and safety for your travel incentive winners and guests.

Docherty has over 30 years of experience in hand-tailoring travel incentives as well as meetings and events at unique and distinguished locations around the world. Docherty Incentives & Meetings can help you more effectively engage your constituents and cultivate a meaningful way to show gratitude to your employees, customers and channel partners by crafting inspiring travel rewards. You can rest assured we will provide everything you need to ensure a stress-free and eventful experience.

We manage every single detail from destination and hotel selection, on-site event management, vacation checklists, coordinating and managing flights, organizing entertainment for your event, and ensuring safety throughout the stay. Destinations that have suffered a natural disaster are not off limits—in fact there is an obvious service element that can offer both team-building (think post-hurricane clean-up or post-flood school repainting) and community-building. By setting up an incentive and rewards program with Docherty Incentives & Meetings today, you can continually create new ways to recognize and reward your employees while paying it forward, giving back, and participating as active, engaged members of the world.

To learn more about the best ways to motivate and reward desired behaviors, and say thank you to your employees, contact us today!