Summer is upon us and while our minds have turned to beach days and cookouts, there is an unfortunate reality of the summer. Hurricane season starts on June 1. While years can go by in which the Tampa Bay area receives little tropical activity, it just takes one hurricane to completely wipe out a condominium community. If you are a board member, it’s always good idea to consult your Tampa condominium management company about a hurricane preparedness plan for your community.
The following are tips to consider when preparing your condo community for the upcoming hurricane season:
DEVISE A COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
In a crisis, thorough information is crucial. It will be busy, possibly chaotic time during a storm so it’s important that determine how information will be disseminated to your residents. First, determine who will communicate pertinent information. Next, determine the method for communication. Will you use a text message service? A phone tree? Social media? Whichever method you use, take into account the fact that cell phone service may be compromised. Also, make sure that residents understand how information will be communicated to them. Luckily, there are Tampa condo management companies that can assist you in this process.
REVIEW INSURANCE POLICIES
Now is a great time to review your insurance policy and find out what you are and are not covered for in the case of an emergency. You will also want to know if it’s up-to-date. It’s also critical to understand your deductible and determine if you have the funds to cover it. Most importantly, make sure that your insurance information is in a safe and easily accessible place.
DETERMINE WHERE ALL COMMON ITEMS WILL GO
There may be a number of items on your property that need to be considered prior to a storm arriving. Items in outdoor common areas like chairs and tables can become projectiles in storm and need to be stored in a safe place. Same goes for playground and pool equipment. A storage facility should be secured, if you don’t have one onsite.
For insurance purposes, it’s important to take photos of the property prior to damage occurring. This will help immensely should a claim be filed. Items to photograph should include, the buildings itself, the common areas, the pool, and the gates, among other items.