According to Mavis Early, executive director of the Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association (GNOHLA), hoteliers in the city were prepared for the storm and are staying calm in the midst of Isaac's deluge.
"Of course, we know that experience is the best teacher-and Katrina was an excellent teacher," she told Lodging via email.
"We are much more prepared than we were seven years ago.
Since Katrina, we have established precise plans and procedures.
There is not much that has been left unaddressed."
explains that hotels began prepping for the storm several days ago, when the National Weather Service
upgraded the tropical storm to hurricane status.
Isaac hit land as a Category 1 hurricane.
"Hotels, as just about everyone in New Orleans, have emergency preparedness plans," she
According to Early
, one of the biggest problems hotels faced during Katrina was a lack of communication with the staff and employees.
During the Category 5 hurricane that hit in 2005, hotel owners had a difficult time locating hotel personnel, and have since established a better way of connecting during emergencies.
"One lesson learned from Katrina resulted in most hotels establishing an ongoing procedure to maintain up-to-date contact information on all of their employees, including their cell phone numbers and that of a close family member or friend," says Early
and other tourism agencies in the city including the New Orleans Convention
and Visitors Bureau
and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
, put together the New Orleans Tourism Crisis Communication Plan which includes contact information for key tourism leaders and sets forth responsibilities and procedures to follow in the event of an emergency.
says that ongoing communication efforts between city officials, tourism leaders, hotels, and hotel guests is essential in keeping everyone safe and informed.
"The safety, security, and comfort of guests are always top priorities for hoteliers," she
explains that since there was no mandatory evacuation put in place, hotel guests were allowed to stay at operating hotels in the city during the storm.
says that guests have been advised to listen to important announcements from hotels and local officials and to heed instructions relating to the storm.
"Issac is not the type of event that Hurricane Katrina was, and mandatory evacuation was not necessary," says Early
is confident in the city's ability to handle hurricane Isaac and other tropical storms and hurricanes that develop in the future.
cites the improvements that were made to the levee and flood protections systems as a barrier that will protect the city from the type of devastation it saw during Katrina.
"New Orleans is more protected now for storms and hurricanes than it has ever been in the past," she