Its Hurricane Season – Are You Prepared?
Each year hurricane season begins on June 1st through November 1st, with storms typically peaking in August and September. As with every South Florida hurricane preparedness season, regardless of forecast, being prepared can be lifesaving.
Broward County typically experiences quite a few tropical storms and hurricanes throughout the season. Therefore, hurricane preparedness should be a must. Never an afterthought.
Condominium unit owners have responsibilities, however it’s important to remember there are certain measures property managers and associations need to take before the start of hurricane season.
South Florida Hurricane Preparedness
For example, as a condo association, one of your chief responsibilities is to create hurricane policies and procedures, including a hurricane preparedness guide and hurricane shutter policy.
And remember to take into consideration during a storm you may lose electricity and Internet. So, be sure to print out any information that you won’t be able to access via computer. Such as contact information for board members, association members, and management. Insurance policies and important phone numbers, including those for utilities and emergency services.
Here are additional responsibilities before, during, and after a storm:
Before The Storm
- Take dated photos of the property, as it is
- Make sure you have up-to-date contact information for all unit owners
- Create a list of vendors for after the storm (plumbers, landscapers, electricians, insurance contacts, etc.)
After a Hurricane Warning
- Set an emergency meeting for the board and management teams to review the hurricane plan and discuss responsibilities
- Ensure that all electronic records are on a flash drive or in the cloud and store any hard copies in watertight containers
- Bring in all outside property such as pool furniture, plants, recycling bins, and such.
- Deploy hurricane protection / shutters for the building’s main windows and doors
After an Evacuation Order
- Communicate the evacuation order to all residents
- Provide evacuation help to anyone who may need it
- Disable all elevators after residents have evacuated
After The Storm
- When possible, return to the property to survey any damage and take pictures if applicable.
- Communicate with residents regularly and notify them when they can return home
- Hold a board meeting to discuss the next steps
- File any necessary insurance claims immediately
The best thing you can do for your community and residents is to prepare as early as possible! And ensure that all policies are in place prior to the start of hurricane season.
This list is not exhaustive, and there are other steps both you and your residents should take before, during, and after a hurricane. To learn more about hurricane preparedness in Broward County, click here.
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