Hurricane season is officially here and after last year’s particularly devastating season, you want to make sure you take all the necessary precautions to not only keep your residents safe but also protect your property from costly damage if possible. Luckily there’s a lot you can do ahead of time to help mitigate any potential issues during a storm and we’re sharing our tips for preparing your property for hurricane season as well as any other storms.
Thoroughly planning ahead of hurricane season can ensure everyone’s safety as well as preventing property damage. We recommend having a comprehensive plan with clear procedures in place. Include key information like staff contact information, residents’ contact information, emergency contacts, roles and responsibilities for staff and essential personnel designations. Also include a checklist for staff to follow to prepare the property in case of a storm.
It’s also important to make sure you communicate properly with your residents and provide them with procedures to follow if needed as well. This could include tips on how to make their particular unit storm ready, disaster-relief information, shelter information, emergency response numbers and evacuation plans. Make sure every building has a reliable means of communication that can be used during a storm. Consider implementing an alert system that sends automated email and/or text messages. A staff member would also be designated as a liaison with emergency service providers if needed.
All of this information should be reviewed at the beginning of every hurricane season but it’s important to also refresh everyone prior to the threat of a hurricane so everyone is on the same page.
Make Updates to your Property
Making updates to your property may take some upfront investment but it will help you avoid costly damage in the long run. Consider relocating electrical panels, mechanical equipment, gas and electric meters, and shut-offs to higher ground. You’ll also want to make sure you seal cracks or openings in walls and the foundations of your various buildings. Creating an overflow pond with a drainage system throughout the property can also help prevent flooding in lower areas more prone to flooding.
Whether you’re making updates or looking to protect your investment, having the necessary supplies on hand can be critical during a storm. Consider having sandbags to prevent flooding in problem areas as well as having a pump on hand in case you do have flooding. Plywood and tarps can also be extremely helpful in mitigating any damage until repairs can be made after a storm. Having these supplies stored away all year can help you avoid not having them in the event of shortages prior to a hurricane.
Other things you will may want to consider for your property are:
- Making sure your generators are working properly and any other necessary equipment you may need during a storm or power outage.
- Going through the entire property and store away potential projectiles like pool furniture. You’ll also want to make sure your residents do this if they have balconies and/or patios.
- Making sure you have all important files and sensitive equipment like computers stored safely.
As you can see, planning ahead so your property is prepared for hurricane season is the best way you can protect your residents and investment. If you don’t have any of these procedures in place and you have properties in hurricane areas, we highly suggest developing them. That way you can keep everyone safe and minimize as much damage as possible in the event of a hurricane.