When providing emergency supplies for your guests you can only hope it is a waste of time and money!
It's like buying insurance - you buy it hoping that you'll never need it. Much as we may not want to think about it, we have a responsibility to our guests when they are staying in our property that goes beyond just making sure they are comfortable.
Morally and legally we also have responsibility for their safety and must ensure that our property is as safe as possible. Your legal responsibility will vary dependant upon which part of the world you are based and you need to be sure you are fully aware of all national and local laws.
In Florida we employed the services of a professional management company who took care of this for us - I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. There were stringent rules regarding things such as the provision of a fire blanket and a range of fire extinguishers to suit different sources of fire.
There were smoke alarms and in all properties and carbon monoxide detectors in many too.
We provided a full first aid kit for our guests to use if necessary - I don't remember if this was a requirement or just something we chose to do.
The majority of the pool homes in Florida had a pool cage over the whole of the pool area. This kept out small creepy crawlies and also the bigger ones - let's face it, we had invaded the crocodiles home turf!
I did hear of people without a cage popping out to the pool to be met by a crocodile having a swim - urban myth or true? I don't know but we weren't going to take that chance. My sister has a serious dislike of wasps so for that reason alone the pool cage would have been a good idea.
With Florida having a tropical climate the summer months can be prone to the occasional hurricane.
I remember one summer when it was all over the news that a huge hurricane was heading for the Orlando area . We were in the UK but had guests staying in our home. Our management team leapt into action and did everything they could to ensure the safety of our property and our guests.
Our patio furniture was all thrown into the pool - the safest place apparently - and everything that was capable of being blown around in high winds had to be taken inside the house or secured. A piece of furniture caught by the hurricane could cause no end of damage as it ripped through the mesh of the cage and flew off to who knows where.
Like many properties in the area, ours was without power for a few days. Our guests took it all very well and totally understood that this was beyond our control. We had been advised to make available some emergency supplies for our guests and I'm sure they were grateful for the matches, batteries, flashlights, water purification tablets, candles and other bits and pieces they would have found in the house.
One area where safety was particularly important was by the pool. Florida residents and visitors alike were only too aware how easy it would be for a child to wander outside, fall in a pool and drown. It was mandatory for pool homes to have an alarm fitted to all patio doors leading to a pool area - I believe it was a criminal offence for the alarm to be disabled.
Rules changed and we were instructed to fit a pool fence right across the patio which blocked the only access to the pool. It was a bit of an eye sore unfortunately but safety must come first.