Hurricane season has arrived, and neighborhoods all over the Sunshine State are scrambling to prepare themselves for the eventual homecoming of annual 100-mph winds and torrential downpours. Although most Floridians have lived through their fair share of hurricanes, whether by locking down their homes and waiting it out or evacuating to the north, the fear and anxiety that accompanies the hurricane season is always present come June.
In this brief article, the experienced professionals from our St. Petersburg HOA community management company, Wise Property Management, will provide three tips for communities that want to be prepared for the next significant storm in Florida. If your current HOA is failing to provide your residents with the dedicated service and value they deserve, consult Wise Property Management to see how our experience serving communities in Tampa Bay over the last four decades can change your community for the better.
1. Review the HOA Insurance Policy
Before a storm causes significant damage to your community, it’s vital that your neighborhood’s board of directors have a complete understanding of the nuances of the HOA’s insurance policy, including:
- Proof of Loss Requirements
These policies should be reviewed with the HOA’s insurance agent before a storm is even on the radar. This way, any necessary changes can be made well in advance of the next catastrophic weather event.
This is also a good opportunity to inform residents about the benefits of obtaining personal homeowners policies, or HO-6 policies. This policy covers certain items that owners are responsible for according to Section 718.111(11), Florida Statutes. This statute explains that homeowners are responsible for repairing the following:
- Personal Property
- Floor, Wall, and Ceiling Coverings
- Electrical Fixtures
- Water Heaters
- Water Filters
- Built-In Cabinets and Countertops
- Window Treatments (i.e., Curtains, Drapes, Blinds)
2. Common Element Repairs
When a storm strikes, you can bet on it to expose vulnerabilities in your neighborhood’s common elements. If you are aware of any leaks in roofs, windows, and pipes, you should have these problems repaired immediately to avoid any sustained damage. The longer you let these problems persist, the more expensive they will be to resolve. Your HOA should perform a variety of services, including:
- Inspecting windows and repairing any problems in the frames, seals, caulking, or even the windows themselves.
- Trim back trees and eliminate any potentially dangerous branches. At the same time, you should remove any dying trees and plants to reduce the number of airborne projectiles that could be tossed around in the wind.
- Remove debris from common areas.
3. Update Contact Information to Stay Connected
When it comes to the safety of the residents in your community, the ability to maintain contact with each and every homeowner is vital. Before hurricane season has even started, your HOA should request updated contact information from every resident. This may include telephone numbers, email addresses, a second physical address, and more. Regardless of whether someone is a homeowner or HOA member, director, officer, etc., there’s no excuse to not have their latest contact information.
Preparing for hurricane season in Florida is an endeavor with no clear start or end date. You have to be vigilant all throughout the year to ensure that your residents are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to stay safe and secure their homes. That is why you deserve to work with a St. Petersburg HOA community management company that keeps your neighborhood running smoothly all year long.
Are you ready to work with a St. Petersburg HOA management company that makes life easier for you and your board members and improves the value of your property? If so, submit our proposal request form today!