2020 has brought many unique challenges that we could not have predicted nor prepared for, and now in the midst of hurricane season, something we are very familiar with in Florida, we are faced with considering hurricane preparation during the continuing challenges of COVID-19. While most
Hurricane Preparation for communities and those that serve them:
Review insurance policies before hurricane season ((June 1st to November 30th) to ensure coverage, prepare for proof of loss requirements and confirm exclusions and deductibles. This review is critical if communities face claims after storms.
Get your documentation in order.
- Make sure that homeowner contact and vendor contact information is updated in the system so that it can be pulled and referred to if necessary.
- Update photographs (date-stamped) of the community and its amenities to ensure there is a clear indisputable record of the current condition if damage takes place.
- Review financials and bank accounts and have that information readily available.
- If possible, pre-negotiate contracts with service-providers so that support and repair are available in a timely manner after a storm.
- Provide homeowners with clear documentation of what they are personally responsible for repairing in their community should damage occur.
- Document and communicate all plans and support the association plans to provide.
- Clarify board emergency powers in case they are activated.
- Identify who will come or be on-site to secure the areas. This will vary depending on amenities, gates, etc. at each community. Work with your management company or if self-managed, the key people that will be helping, to put together or review a hurricane policy and clarify what support you may need before, during, and after, and the costs associated.
- Make a plan on how residents will be notified of important information if digital means are not available.
- Prepare an updated list of homeowners and contact information available.
- Create a checklist to follow instead of relying on memory in emergency situations.
Additional COVID-19 Considerations During Hurricane Season:
In the face of COVID-19 pandemic:
- Medical response and resources will be divided due to the ongoing treatment efforts needed during the pandemic.
- Social distancing may impact teams being put together during recovery efforts.
- Weather forecasting has been impacted by the decrease in air travel as aircraft from airlines provide data that is critical to predicting storms.
- Shelter management will be more complicated as decisions are made regarding keeping people safe during COVID-19.
- FEMA has released a guide to meet the challenges during the 2020 hurricane season.
The stress of hurricane season coupled with the challenges of navigating the current pandemic means preparation is even more important than ever before. Since community management is a team effort now is the time to work together to prepare for Hurricane Season 2020.
Andris, E. (2019, June 08). Hurricane Preparedness: What Associations Need to Know. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from https://www.floridahoalawyerblog.com/hurricane-preparedness-what-associations-need-to-know/
Kmet, K. (2019, March 08). Hurricane preparedness checklist for homeowners associations. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from https://www.buildium.com/blog/hoa-hurricane-checklist/
Ling, D. (2020, June 09). How COVID-19 will impact the 2020 hurricane season. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from https://www.propertycasualty360.com/2020/06/09/how-covid-19-may-impact-hurricane-season/