Don’t be a Sitting Duck this Hurricane Season …

Prepare for Disasters Now

Just six years ago, Hurricane Charley devastated Florida. The storm moved through Central Florida with damaging wind and rain, proving that even inland areas are susceptible to severe weather. This year, experts predict a “very active” season — Weather Services International forecast 18 named storms, with 10 hurricanes. Of those, five are expected to become “major” hurricanes — classified as a Category 3 or higher.

Preparing an entire multi-family dwelling for storm season requires serious advanced planning. Taking steps now, like establishing a relationship with an emergency contractor, can help safeguard your community in the wake of severe weather — and get it back to its pre-disaster status as efficiently as possible.

Hire a Contractor Now, Before Damage Occurs

Quick remediation after damage occurs is necessary to ensure the livelihood of any community or business. Apartment community owners must be prepared to manage displaced residents, handle insurance claims and facilitate repairs as efficiently as possible. For that reason, a well-thought-out emergency plan is essential to property management duties. And critical to that: engaging the right service partners.

Repairing damaged roofs and walls, broken windows, flooding and mold all require different expertise. Disaster contractors bundle all these services — even coordinating multiple sub-contractors for their clients — thereby remove the extra hassle from an already stressful situation.

Even with a solid emergency plan in place, it’s not possible to avoid all property damage – so you’re likely to need help in making repairs. Whether the damage is caused by wind from a hurricane, fire or water, disaster companies act as “first responders” beginning the restoration process quickly and efficiently.

Coastal Reconstruction Group — a Florida-based disaster contractor — offers Rapid Response, a program that is cost-free to owners and property managers. As part of this service, crews arrive onsite within four hours of the reported damage to assess any immediate needs (e.g., boarding up windows, installing a roof tarp and doing anything necessary to stop water penetration) — regardless of the magnitude of the loss. If mold appears to be an issue, the team begins installing dehumidifiers and dryers. Coastal Reconstruction Group representatives then will meet with the adjuster to agree on a scope of work and price that will restore the property to its previous condition.

Of course, Rapid Response is just one example. All disaster contractors offer different types of reconstruction programs. By researching now and enrolling for appropriate services, you can weather the upcoming storm season with confidence.

Property Manager’s Hurricane Checklist

● Review insurance policies for any new clauses. For example, some companies no longer cover homes that have been vacant for more than 30 days.

● Become familiar with insurance deductibles for all claims.

● Make sure the insurance policy includes Law and Ordinance (Code Upgrade) provisions.

● Establish a relationship with a disaster contractor.

● Encourage renters to purchase renter’s insurance.

● Check vacant units prior to the storm, and shut off their power and water.

● Keep an updated list of disabled residents and their addresses.

● Distribute a list of hurricane preparedness guidelines for residents; include evacuation plans.

● Make sure shrubs and trees are trimmed to reduce potential debris.

● If a swimming pool is on property, place pool furniture in it.

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 Southeastern U.S. For more information, visit www.coastalreconstruction.com.