Severe weather hit Texas a couple of weeks ago. And a new storm system is turning toward Florida as I write this post. Real life and real serious. While safety of our residents and employees remains paramount, it is a best professional apartment management company practice to have a hurricane or other severe weather policy to guide employees. These policies aim to protect human life, minimize property loss, and to assist where at all possible. Management will also typically have an emergency evacuation plan so as to know where our residents will be going in the event of an emergency. At the outset, if a state directs citizens to evacuate – please inform your residents. One of my client sends a mass email to all of our residents. Another sends a group text. A third has a system for automatic telephone calls.
As a weather forecast begins to look ominous, among other points, supervisors should remind community managers to:
- (a) ensure back up generators (where applicable) are fueled and operational;
- (b) fill all gas cans;
- (c) collect batteries and flashlights;
- (d) clear storm drains and gutters;
- (e) make sure windows and doors are securely closed;
- (f) collect all trash cans and loose articles;
- (g) clear the pool area;
- (h) latch trash dumpster doors;
- (i) inspect your fire protection system;
- (j) secure all vacant apartments;
- (k) back up data stored on your computers;
- (m) let vendors know you may need assistance after the storm;
- (n) confirm where all community electrical, water, and gas shut off valves are located; and
- (o) purchase hurricane emergency kits.
While this list is not exhaustive, it provides guidance for the types of issues we need to be prepared for.
Let’s hope Mother Nature sends the hurricane out to the ocean. But we should be prepared if she does not.
Just A Thought.