By Scott McCurdy
Prepare Now and Be Calm After the Storm
The cliché “the calm before the storm” can be applied to many situations – so it’s ironic that most people are anything but “calm” when faced with severe weather. Once hurricanes become a threat, those in harm’s way work themselves into a panic – buying supplies and securing buildings. But, then often overlook one major precaution: forming a plan for remediation in the event damage occurs.
Establishing a post-disaster plan is especially critical for owners and managers of apartment communities. When dealing with hundreds of rental units and tenants, repairs must be completed as promptly as possible to decrease both resident displacement and general hazards associated with damage from water and wind. For that reason, disaster preparedness must begin well before the threat is imminent.
Hire a Contractor Before the Storm
One of the most important preemptive strikes a property manager can make is to establish a relationship with a disaster contractor. These experts specialize in repairing damage caused by natural occurrences like fire, wind, water, mold and termites. Most contractors cover large service areas and can be on-site within hours of the property owner’s initial call. In addition, many will work directly with the property owner’s insurance company adjuster to expedite restoration.
To effectively utilize services, it is essential to enlist a disaster contractor before an emergency situation arises. Early enrollment allows the contractor to survey the property ahead of time and note emergency electricity and water shut-offs for each building, among other preparatory measures.
Tips for Hiring a Contractor
Follow these five general steps when hiring a contractor:
1. Obtain everything in writing – including estimates, contracts and any guarantees.
2. Check a list of references.
3. Ask for proof of insurance and make certain that the company employs licensed contractors.
4. If all repairs are not covered under the insurance policy, make any final payments after the work is completed.
5. Obtain a local building permit, if necessary.
Of course, all construction companies will provide different types of disaster reconstruction services. So, begin researching now, enroll for appropriate services and ride out the storm season with confidence.
Scott McCurdy is the co-owner of Coastal Reconstruction Group. Coastal Reconstruction’s Rapid Response services provide post-disaster reconstruction to residential and commercial structures throughout the South and Eastern United States. For more information, visit wwwcoastalreconstruction.com.