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Hurricane Preparedness Plan: does your association have one?

Hurricane Irma has left our shores but left destruction in its wake. In the Florida Keys alone, 25 percent of homes were destroyed. Thousands of people across the state continue to deal with the aftermath of the storm.

For those who were affected, there are many resources available for help. Government programs, aid groups and volunteers offer assistance with many issues ranging from clean-up to repairs and even child care expenses.

For those without these immediate concerns, now may be the time to ensure that you are ready for the storm.

Every condo association should have a preparedness plan

We can't know when the next hurricane will develop, but we know that more will come. Individuals can take steps to prepare, like putting together a survival kit with water and other tools and resources they may need during or after a storm.

The onus is not on individuals alone. Condo associations should put into place a hurricane preparedness plan and update it as needed. This plan should cover the time before, during and after a hurricane. For example:

  • Before: Associations should have up-to-date contact information for all of its current residents and businesses/services that may be required after the storm. They should also make sure that they have safeguarded any important records - like ensuring that electronic records are backed up on a cloud server and paper copies are stored in water-proof containers.
  • During: The plan should include steps the association will need to take once a hurricane warning has been announced. This includes steps to notify and evacuate residents safely. The plan should also include guidance to make sure that doors, windows and other vulnerable points are reinforced.
  • After: The after-plan should include information about notifying residents, filing insurance claims and holding board meetings to formalize specifics for repairs.

A good plan can help protect residents, their interests and make the return to "normal" life go as smoothly as possible.

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