Preparing For a Hurricane as a Property Manager
Hurricane season begins on June 1. As a property manager, it’s important to make sure that a storm preparedness plan is in place well beforehand for the safety of your residents, staff, and property. Prepare for potential storm damage by:
1. Developing a Procedures Handbook
A property management company should have a hurricane procedures handbook prepared before the hurricane season begins. Include emergency numbers and contact information for staff. Also, outline the roles of each staff member, as well as their responsibilities, indicating essential personnel. Collaborate with all staff and make sure that everyone is on the same page with company policies, emergency procedures, and staff availability.
2. Sharing the Plan With Residents
Have a reliable way of reaching out to residents of the property. Many property managers will update tenants via an automated alert system, sending text messages and emails. Give each resident storm preparedness information familiarizing them with shelter areas, pre-storm procedures for their property as a whole, as well as instructions on how to prepare their residences.
3. Reviewing Insurance and Contracts
Review the property’s insurance policies to make sure that it’s adequately covered. Also, make sure that contracts with landscaping, construction, and mitigation companies are in place so that work can begin immediately after storm damage is incurred.
4. Performing Outdoor Maintenance
When you first hear that a hurricane is likely, begin preparing the outdoor areas. This maintenance includes cleaning gutters, trimming tree limbs and securing outdoor items such as furniture, signs, flower pots and trashcans. Get residents to bring their belongings inside from patios and balconies. Take time-stamped “before” photos or videos of the property for insurance claims purposes. Make sure that important computer documents are backed up to the cloud or an off-site hard drive.
Call SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville if any of your properties are hit by damaging winds or rain at 570-546-3500.