With Dorian well on its way to Jacksonville, property management companies are fast at work, hurricane procedures playbook in hand, prepping owners and tenants alike regarding appropriate hurricane damage protocols, installation of shutters and plywood and sharing the best means of emergency communication with management staff during this 2019 hurricane season. IPS is no exception as the team is at work executing plans for beforehand damage mitigation and a smooth, uneventful recovery.
As previously stated, good property managers are always prepared, even during hurricane season. The hurricane procedures playbook is stocked with info such as team member phone numbers, emergency contacts and the designated roles and responsibilities for each staff member as well as a parfait of additional crucial information.
Property managers will take exceptional time to communicate clearly and frequently with owners and tenants as preparation checklists are issued to both tenants and owners. A communication plan will be established for emergent purposes such as damage caused by the tropical storm or hurricane. In addition, customized disaster plans will be clearly communicated as well as the location of crucial equipment and evacuation routes.
For residential buildings such as condo or apartment complexes, individual building communication processes will also be established and a building representative will be assigned to conduct primary communication in order to ensure accuracy, timely reporting and avoid confusion.
Property insurance policies will be reviewed to ensure they are still in force and topics such as limits and exclusions should be studied by each owner who should also be familiar with individual deducibles.
Experienced property managers make for excellent acrobats as staffing for unique situations such as a hurricane is a bit of a balancing act. Personnel must be equipped to effectively assist owners and tenants without endangering anyone in the process.
Your property manager will maintain an emergency contact list in the event of hurricanes and other extreme events. This list contains tenant and owner names, the number of people residing in each home or property, anyone in need of special assistance in the event of an evacuation, the number of young children living in each rental property, tenants who work from home, the number of pets per unit, all contact info for each owner and tenant, contact info for emergency contractors and phone numbers for EMT's, the fire department and numbers for police and rescue squads.
Experienced property management companies understand the importance of performing maintenance such as tree trimming, removal of large debris such as rocks or overflowing dumpsters and securing outdoor furniture as a means of further protection and damage mitigation resulting from a hurricane. Time-stamped photos and video footage will likely be taken of each property and grounds for insurance purposes.
Essential property management personnel will remain onsite in order to provide assistance and accessibility for tenants. In the event that the storm or hurricane becomes imminent, the staff will tend to mechanical items such as elevators, HVAC systems and water pumps in order to mitigate impending damage and implement the evacuation plan. In most cases, the property manager is assigned as the last person to evacuate. All owners, tenants and personnel onsite should carry proper legal identification in the event that identity must be proven in order to get back into the residence post evacuation.
Make sure to follow the reporting protocol implemented by your property manager who will ensure that post-storm inspections occur in a timely manner. In the event that your property has suffered damages, your manager should issue you a full report as well as photos and/or footage which you may turn over to your insurance company. The communication lines between personnel and tenants and owners can be expected to remain open and consistent during the recovery process.
Upon completion of the recovery process, property management teams will review how their plans were implemented, check for improvements to be made before the next natural disaster hits and make note of the procedures worth following, adjusting or terminating altogether. All efforts go into ensuring the continued safety of all tenants, owners and personnel while delivering the best service possible.