Ship charters used to house relief workers and first responders

According to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, on average, close to seven hurricanes strike the United States every four years, while about three major hurricanes cross the U.S. coast every five years. The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico) is from June 1st to November 30th, the peak of the season is from mid-August to late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime during hurricane season.

Hurricane Florence’s recent impact on the Carolinas once again served as a reminder of our vulnerability in living along a coastal area. It is after the storm and when the flood waters have subsided, the hard work begins.

Federal, state and local government officials will deploy personnel along coastal communities to evaluate the damages after a storm. But oftentimes there is not enough housing that is not damaged by the storm. As the Carolinas face a new reality, they need a solution to assist the federal government with disaster relief lodging should the need arise.

Cruise ships serving as dockside “Floating hotels” are a welcome solution for cities, counties, organizations, or companies looking for hard-to-find hotel accommodations for insurance adjusters, clean-up crews, construction teams, medical professionals and others. These types of ship charters are a way to facilitate emergency relief services along the U.S. coastlines, Caribbean or other coastal areas around the world devastated by natural disasters.

Cruise ships charters will be able to provide warm meals and recreation facilities under the same roof at an affordable price. With these vessels serving as temporary housing, ship charters provide a comfortable, safe space for displaced families and first responders following a devastating natural disaster.

Previously, many cruise lines have responded to the need for housing relief. For example, in 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chartered the Carnival Fascination and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration to provide accommodations to survivors and first responders following several devastating hurricanes that hit the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Every natural disaster is different and calls upon unique relief efforts. Acknowledging and planning for it is equally important. Working with state and federal officials to obtain information on disaster relief resources and the information is critical. Should the need for a ship charter arise to serve as a temporary floating hotel, we stand ready to assist.

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Note: During Landry & Kling’s 35 years in business, we have aided many companies during the different stages where a ship is needed including evacuation, emergency services, restoration and rebuilding. Our most significant FEMA government contracts involved securing a cruise ship charter for a six-month Hurricane Katrina relief mission in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, and Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010. Today, we continue to field inquiries related to Hurricane Irma.