Arkansas Industry Insider Newsletter

Are you prepared for Hurricane Isaac?  COVER is prepared for you.

 

Tropical storm season is well underway – and COVER is ready.  The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism wants to remind you about this useful program.  COVER stands for Communication of Vacancies Emergency Response Plan.  It was created in response to the influx of travelers during Hurricane Katrina.  The system is activated when an emergency forces evacuation from surrounding areas into Arkansas. Lodging properties on main thoroughfares are easily found and book up fast – but many evacuees unfamiliar with our state drive right past available lodging just off the main drag.

Thankfully, so far, we haven’t used it for a natural disaster yet -- but we have tested the program and have previously implemented it during spring break and some holiday weekends to make sure it serves its purpose well.  That initiative is two-fold: to assist people looking for shelter during a natural disaster and to increase business for members of the Arkansas Tourism Industry.

Right now, models show Hurricane Isaac, currently headed towards the Caribbean, may be in Florida as early as Monday.  While those forecasts indicate areas away from Arkansas might be affected, we should consider what happened with Hurricane Katrina.  That massive storm first struck Florida as a Category One hurricane, then swept back to sea and struck the Gulf Coast as a Category Four.  The evacuees came to our doorstep.  This time, should disaster strike close to our borders, we are prepared for the onslaught of unexpected visitors.
 
Additional information on COVER is available on http://www.arkansas.com/cover/.
 

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