How to manage the impact of bad weather on your business.
You may have already heard that Hurricane Erika is on her way. The weather reports change by the minute but we currently expect winds up to 75 mph and potential flooding.
Managing the impact of bad weather on business is never easy, especially for community associations. We have compiled 5 action items that will help guide the board in managing the business of your association through a storm.
1. Get clear about the lines of communication. Unit owners need to know who to report to in the event of property damage. The Board needs to know who to communicate with from the Property Management Company. The board needs to appoint one person (or committee) to collect information about property damage from the storm. This process is important to preserve the association’s rights and that damage, if any, is handled in the most efficient manner.
a. Ask your management agent what the emergency flash storm procedures are for the community.
b. What can the board expect the manager to do after the storm?
c. Request that the management company provide a copy of the Insurance Declaration page and insurance agents’ contact information to the board.
d. Who is communicating with the unit owners?
2. Appoint a Board Member or Management Agent to take pictures of the common physical areas before the storm. The purpose of this is to create before and after photos in the event of physical damage. After the storm, photos should be taken if the area is secure and safe. Safety First!
3. Ask your management agent or compile a list of companies to assist in removal of debris or water extraction after the storm. The best practice is to have vendors that have been vetted by the association for quality of work (references or referrals) and insurance (workers comp, bonds, etc…).
4. Confirm with the board, as a whole, how actions will be taken after the storm. We suggest setting a meeting now based on the expected length of the storm; for example, if the storm hits on Monday, plan to meet on Tuesday at 5pm. However, the board needs to do what works for them and makes sense for their sec. The point is to come up with a plan.
5. If physical damage occurs to the common elements, contact the Firm to discuss the potential claim prior to submitting to the insurance company.
Keep in mind that if the governor declares a state of emergency for Florida, then the association will not need to post notice for meetings, or otherwise hold meetings to take action. This only applies during the state of emergency, which is declared by and ended by the State of Florida. If you have any questions about these action items, please give us a call.