A string of natural disasters has made headlines over the past few years. Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods have caused countless fatalities and billions of dollars in damage. Every part of the nation is at risk for some type of natural disaster and your association may not be as prepared as you think. Here are the steps your association should take to minimize losses in case of a disaster.
Member Safety Plan
You can find the Model Homeowner Association Disaster Plan guide on the Downloads page which can help you assess your community’s preparedness. Also, there are many agencies that can help your community create a disaster plan such as Citizen Corps (a division of FEMA). In your plan you should:
- Establish evacuation routes and give a copy of route maps to all association members.
- Have a stockroom of emergency supplies such as fuel for emergency generators.
- Create a hard-copy list of emergency contact information for all association members.
Taking these steps will help to ensure the safety of association members. The summary of the plan should be distributed to all association members. The details of the plan should also be maintained on your association’s website.
Association Security Plan
In addition, there are several steps you should take to protect your association as a business entity. You should:
- Create a hard-copy list of vendors that you may need to contact after a disaster.
- Make sure to have all your association’s records in a safe location. The secretary should be in charge of backing up important files such as governing documents, insurance policies, bank account numbers, minutes, and contracts. These files should be kept in a safe location such as a safe deposit box.
- Budget finances to include possible disaster expenses.
- Review insurance policies with your agent to review risks, coverage, deductibles, and procedures.
- Take an inventory of all major facilities such as the pool, clubhouse, and tennis courts. This may hasten insurance claims after a disaster.
- Create a plan for cleanup after a disaster.