As the CEO and founder of Hytropy, a disaster preparedness firm that works in the outdoor hospitality industry, Patrick Hardy has been working some long days since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“It has been crazy busy,” he explained to WOODALLSCM.com (WCM). “I am working 14-16 hours a day trying to keep everything going.”
Hardy isn’t complaining though. He has spent most of his adult life helping individuals and businesses get through disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.
“I have been through hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, massive lightning storms and earthquakes,” he noted. “When I first started in my career I tried to find places where there were disasters. It gave me an opportunity to get a lot of experience.”
He eventually became a certified emergency manager, certified risk manager and a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Master of Exercise Practitioner.
He now operates Hytropy out of two offices, one in Lousiana and another in California, with a staff of five full-time employees and 70 contract employees.
Originally, he worked with small businesses creating written disaster plans, but in 2016 he shifted the company’s focus and created an app, Disaster Hawk, which helps anyone create a disaster plan in minutes.
“You can create custom disaster plans for your families, for your small business, for your animals, anything,” Hardy explained.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Hytropy has focused on creating a COVID-19 specific plan for RV parks and campgrounds, which it released on the app on Monday (March 23).
“Park owners can utilize the app to create a custom COVID-19 plan for their parks,” Hardy said. “We are always looking at ways to add to and improve the app.”
Hardy told WCM that park owners need a plan for every kind of disaster.
“The COVID-19 plan that we developed can also be converted into a general pandemic plan down the road,” he explained. “Is it going to be perfect? No, because every virus is going to behave a little differently, but at least it gives you a starting point.”
He said that most plans can be done in 90 seconds.
“They are so easy to start and finish,” Hardy noted. “We know park owners don’t have a lot of time, so we created this app to make it fast and easy to create a plan.
“We have a mechanism in there where they can also share the plan with their employees,” he added. “They just need to have their email addresses, because they obviously have to register for the app. Then, they can go in there and they will have access and will be able to view that entire plan and they can actually follow the plan.”
Owners can also create sections that campers can access in an emergency.
Hardy said the concept of disaster preparedness in the RV park and campground sectors is still new, but that the owners he works with are embracing it.
“Our job is to help make sure that we accommodate everybody as much as possible,” he explained. “Some park owners, for example, they don’t want to be too tech-savvy. So, what we do is we actually enter the plans in for them and help them to develop it. We create the plan for them so that they can actually just answer a series of questions on the phone, and then we enter it directly into the app.”
Hytropy is also offering a discount on written plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Usually, the plans are $500, but Hytropy is charging a subscription fee of $20-a-month during the pandemic.
“Assuming the crisis last five months, owners would only pay $100 for the plan,” Hardy explained.
He told WCM that a written plan helps direct people during an emergency.
“You’ve got to lay out the policies, you have to be clear, and you have to have a uniform application, so that everybody understands that you are not changing it,” Hardy explained.
He said that Hytropy is also working to come out with flyers that park owners can use in an emergency as well.
To access the Disaster Hawk app, click here.