Emergency planning for 2020 hurricane season

Thursday, May 7, 2020

As the world continues to weather the storm that is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Air Partner – a global leader in private aviation – is urging companies and individuals to prepare now for the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which officially starts June 1. Today, the company shared a list of emergency planning tips ahead of this year’s anticipated above-average season, which already has 16 predicted storms.

“COVID-19 has caused all of us to closely examine how we protect our families and employees in times of crisis, and now is the time to create a contingency plan, or update an existing one, to ensure maximum preparedness. At Air Partner, our team is here to help alleviate anxieties by creating tailored evacuation plans to avoid unfavorable circumstances,” said David McCown, president of Air Partner U.S. “The safety and peace of mind an emergency evacuation plan provides for your employees or loved ones is invaluable. Our Hurricane Planning Team is on-hand 24/7 and are experts in planning for every imaginable emergency scenario, and we are ready to help.”

According to the Global Weather Oscillations (GWO), this hurricane season may see up to 16 named storms – with up to four predicted to become major hurricanes. With these predicted storms on the horizon, Air Partner is encouraging companies and individuals to be conscious of the following tips, in order to ensure preparedness and save time when the actual emergency is bound to happen:

  • An evacuation decision should be considered 72 hours or more prior to the storm’s arrival, as there is a limited window of opportunity after this time frame. Once winds reach an excess of 30 mph, evacuation may no longer be feasible due to aircraft landing limitations. Typically, the wind and weather conditions escalate – therefore, it is best to make critical decisions as soon as possible.
  • Due to COVID-19, many are experiencing the challenges that scarce flight options and limited airline service presents. During a natural disaster, aircraft availability can become even more limited due to high demand, so Air Partner encourages groups to plan, when possible, and make critical decisions early. As storms get closer and conditions worsen, aircrafts are less likely able to access evacuation airports, making charter pricing increase quickly as aircrafts and airports become more limited. 
  • It is vital to prepare all necessary documentation, including passports and visas, to ensure employees can safely enter a foreign country. Standard immigration rules apply, even during a crisis; companies should take proactive measures to ensure that all documentation is in place before hurricane season begins.
  • With the logistical challenges that hurricanes can impose, companies should consider having a plan in place to securely move cargo and keep supply chains running. Air Partner’s freight team moves the most substantial or hazardous cargo to any location, on time, to ensure business doesn’t stop due to a natural disaster.

Air Partner’s expertise for handling emergency situations has already been demonstrated this year with the company safely flying more than 10,000 people worldwide for evacuations and repatriations due to COVID-19. In addition, during last year’s Hurricane Dorian, the company received and facilitated numerous charter requests for urgent evacuations from areas in the hurricane’s forecasted path, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and the Caribbean. Air Partner’s freight team was first to the scene in delivering humanitarian aid, including food, water, and hygiene kits, to Marsh Harbour and Freeport – helping thousands in need in the Bahamas.

As part of its customisable Hurricane Evacuation Program, Air Partner offers pre-planning and rapid response evacuation services to companies, government organizations, and individuals, providing 24/7 global air evacuation planning and implementation services for any situation a client deems an emergency. Evacuations are carried out based on the pre-planning component, with preferred aircraft access and transfers to pre-selected destinations. All plans can be executed immediately by a dedicated response team that takes care of ground support, logistics, and planning.

Additionally, with its unique new service offering, Air Partner Protect, the company is able to offer additional safeguarding to clients flying during the COVID-19 pandemic. For clients who need to expand the scope of their existing contingency plans as new global emergencies and considerations arise, Air Partner can update their evacuation plans to best suit their flight requirements during a crisis for hurricanes and storms.