Better Landlording

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October 2, 2015

6 Tips to Help You Prepare Your Rental Property for Hurricane Season

by Sara | Share this article

6 Tips to Help You Prepare Your Rental Property for Hurricane Season

While the nation’s best climatologists always have their thumbs on the latest weather data, constantly changing conditions make it difficult to predict storms. Property owners need to be prepared for anything, including extreme weather storms.

Here are suggested hurricane preparedness tips from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready campaign:

Create an emergency preparedness kit

Build an emergency kit for the front office with essential supplies like a flashlight, blanket, fire extinguisher, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, whistle, first aid kit and basic tools like a wrench and hammer. Also, include one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation.

Be aware of the surroundings

Residents and staff should know the surroundings. Learn the elevation level of the property and whether the area is prone to flooding. This will help everyone know how the property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted. Also, identify levees and dams in the area, as well as hurricane evacuation routes. Create an evacuation plan and post throughout the community.

Establish a communications plan -

Have a communications plan and include social media options available today. The usual standbys like cell phones, walkie-talkies and two-way radios are useful for staff and residents to communicate during any type of disaster. Access to Wi-Fi is a big plus. Keep extra batteries on hand for cell phones and laptops, too.

Secure the property to minimize damage -

When word hits that a big storm is coming your way, you can bet there will be a big run on plywood to cover windows and other supplies. Covering all the windows on a 250-unit apartment may be impossible, but doing so at the office and in indoor common areas will be beneficial so that operations can continue in the wake of the storm. Allow plenty of time to secure the property.

Prepare the exterior of the property -

Be sure that trees and shrubs around the property are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant. Also, clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts, and bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.

Get your residents ready -

Above all, prepare your residents. Social media and property web pages are a great way to bring hurricane awareness to residents, as are printed newsletters and flyers. These can be essential tools for communicating with residents about evacuation plans and what to do in the event of a storm. Also, you may want to enlist local authorities to help with emergency preparedness by hosting a special event or community gathering.

Hurricane threats should be taken seriously. As history has proven, significant damage resulting from wind and flooding can be catastrophic. Is your rental property ready for hurricane season?

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