One thing we have to deal with every year in Florida is the potential for hurricanes to come by. Each year, we are affected by them to one degree or another. We have had some years that included a lot of wind damage, leaving trees blown over and property damage. Other years have just included a lot of rain, which created water damage and leaky roofs. Hurricane preparation is important in the Sarasota and Bradenton area because we never know what to expect or when we’ll actually have a direct hit. Here are some tips to preparing for that dreaded hurricane season:
Establish communication between you and your tenants. Determine how they will call you if the phones are down, and how you will be able to set up in your office if you have no electricity. Figure out how you will function without air conditioning or computer access. You might need important documents on your computer, but if you can’t even turn it on, you’re going to have a problem getting to them. Put in place a plan of communication before a weather event actually occurs.
Make sure there is a disaster plan in place. If you are a landlord who works with a property management company, it’s important to find out what their disaster plan is, especially during hurricane season. You’ll want to know if they have staff available after the hurricane to visually inspect any damage that has been done to your property. There should be emergency generators available, extra cell power and other precautions taken before the storm hits. The most important thing you’ll need to know about the disaster plan is how you are supposed to establish contact with your property management company.
Put together an emergency assessment team. You will need people who can assess the damage quickly and accurately. Your assessment team should also be able to prepare the tenant for how to maintain the property during a hurricane.
Plan for data backup. You do not want a hurricane to knock out your access to leases, legal documents and other important data that you may have in paper files or saved on a computer. Make sure you have something to preserve all of your necessary data so that you can access it immediately after a hurricane.
If you have any concerns about how to prepare yourself for hurricane season, or how to recover after a storm, please contact us at Sarasota Management and Leasing.