Hurricane Isaac found the state of Louisiana much more prepared for its arrival then previous hurricanes. This time around, public officials made sure that those without cable or satellite TV or Internet access still had access to information about the storm, delivered via local television or radio stations.
If you currently manage a property in a hurricane prone area, or even if your property may potentially be affected by storm aftereffects, it’s important to have a strategy in place for dealing with the wrath of a hurricane or tropical storm. While residents are responsible for preparing for inclement weather, there are several things that property managers can do to prepare residents, their property, and themselves for the arrival of a hurricane.
- Help residents prepare a personal evacuation or safety plan. Have a hurricane preparedness seminar in the clubhouse and provide residents with a handout of steps to take in the event of a hurricane.
- Provide residents with a copy of the town’s evacuation route. By familiarizing themselves with the route to take in case of an emergency, residents are less likely to panic when a hurricane closes in.
- Always keep a supply of water, flashlights, and a good first aid kit available. While the majority of your tenants will likely have emergency provisions, there will always be those that do not.
- Be alert. The office is the place that panicked tenants will likely come to in case of an emergency. Always keep a battery-operating radio handy and know what’s going on at all times.
- If your property is in the hurricane’s front lines such as Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana, installing protective coverings on windows should be considered. While the cost may be prohibitive to smaller companies, installing these protective window covers can save thousands in repair costs over time.
- Along with office staff, prepare a documented emergency procedure that outlines exactly what needs to be done prior to a hurricane or any type of storm hitting the area. This would include storing valuable documents in a waterproof safe, unplugging all electronic devices and having an evacuation plan posted in plain site for office staff to follow. It’s also a good idea to make weekly back ups of your computer data files for safekeeping. That way, you can simply pick up the backup and take it with you during evacuation.
While you can’t always be 100 percent prepared for a hurricane, following these tips should make the already traumatic event of safeguarding and evacuating your property much easier.