First and foremost, we are happy to report that everyone at HeBS Digital is safe and sound. Some of us are back at work today; others are working remotely from Brooklyn, Queens or New Jersey. Currently, there is no power in Manhattan below 40th Street and much of Long Island’s coastal neighborhoods. Many people here in New York are temporarily relocating themselves to area hotels to escape mass power outages or to a generous friend’s house with power.
In the past 48 hours we’ve learned a couple things from Hurricane Sandy that can help any hotelier prepare for the next disaster.
Prevent your site from going down by investing in cloud hosting and a content delivery network (CDN) platform. This type of hosting ensures “distributed” hosting across the U.S. and Canada thus preventing down times due to natural disasters and power outages. Thanks to cloud hosting, none of HeBS Digital’s hotel clients experienced website down times pre-, during, or post-Hurricane Sandy, though some of our clients lost power, cable, telephone and Internet service. Cloud hosting and CDN not only provide 2-3 times faster download speeds, which are very important for your website search engine rankings, but also ensures “fluid” bandwidth use to accommodate spikes in website visitor traffic and guarantee that there is no interference from other websites. Being online during critical times can help users find the information they need in a timely and reliable fashion.
Second, be prepared to give back. A good example of this is for New York hotel clients to offer “Good Neighbor” or “New York Resident” specials – offering a discount to locals displaced by the storm – or provide amenities to those staying long-term. Proactive steps such as these go a long way towards building brand equity and goodwill. In times like this, focusing on helping your fellow citizens and not solely on the bottom line is the right thing to do.
HeBS Digital has donated to the Red Cross to help aid hurricane relief – if you’d like to pitch in you can donate here.