Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality Management

First Advisor's Name

Joe Gregg

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

P. Darby

Date of Defense



It is necessary and important to know what can happen to thousands of people in coastal areas when one day they will be hit by hurricane wind and storm surge. Between 1960 and 1970, the number of people living and vacationing on the coast soared more than 40 percent. During the last 50 years, a great number of hotels has been built on Miami Beach, which makes this area more vulnerable than it ever was before. Insuring the safety of its guests and employees under all circumstances is a very important part of a hotel's security and safety program. It should by all means be a preventive program - the prevention of those hazards that can hurt, injure or destroy lives or property. All hotels should be extremely concerned with the safety of their guests and with the hotel's property. While the hotel's responsibility to a guest may differ in degree, the innkeeper must avoid any injuries or unpleasantness as far as possible. When a hurricane threatens, management's responsibilities are probably even greater because lots of lives are at stake.

Safety and security go hand in hand. Security plans are needed to maintain guest safety. Security is a living thing and does not remain fixed. Conditions change continuously: personnel changes, new hazards arise, new security measures are developed both in Dade County and within the hotel. Concepts and physical equipment change. A hotel's security system should keep pace with the changes that are taking place, especially these days when people are expecting and demanding safer hotels and rooms. People are also less afraid to file law suits against a hotel that did not provide "reasonable care" for its guests. These are some of the reasons why hotels should accept a proper standard of care and develop a hurricane preparedness plan. More important, however, is that these standards and plans are known and enforced by management.

The thought behind this thesis is that most hotels know what should be done in terms of emergency planning but that they for some reason - be it laziness, lack of control or lack of money - do not develop a written plan or do not put it into action.

Miami is again becoming one of the most frequently visited cities and all travelers in general are more safety and security-conscious than ever. Therefore it is important to know if the hotels on our beaches do in fact care enough about their guest's safety, especially in the event of a hurricane. If they don't, Miami Beach might experience a true disaster and may never be able again to revive its image in the field of hospitality and tourism.




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