Disaster Prep On Property

Posted On: August 20, 2018

Disaster prep: Are you ready?

Is your organization prepared for a disaster? And how do you recover once the damage is done? That was a topic at this year’s Southeastern Affordable Housing Management Association’s Annual Conference. The session featured a panel of five experts:

Planning and preparation before the disaster is important. Here are some tips handed out at SAHMA this year.

In doing disaster prep, the panel suggests assembling a data sheet of emergency contacts. It can include:

  • Your Staff
  • Leadership of your management company or PHA
  • Insurance agents, their office hours
  • Adjusters
  • Carrier’s disaster services firm
  • Public Information Officer
  • Utility Companies
  • Building Department
  • Fire Marshall
  • Suppliers and Contractors
  • Biohazard cleanup firm
  • Police
  • Duty Sergeants
  • Non-Emergency lines

The experts say you should also have a plan in place with regard to the media and who will comment. “With almost any major disaster the first thing you will see immediately after the Fire Trucks arrive will be the Satellite Trucks.”

Other tips for disaster prep:

  • Know your site. For example, do you and everyone on your staff know where the gas valve turnoffs are located?
  • Know your residents. For example, in case of evacuation, are you aware of residents who cannot evacuate without help?“You are the one who knows who is in the unit every single day,” said Perez. “You know who is the one exits the building at three o’clock in the afternoon and comes back.”
  • Err on the side of getting everyone out when it appears the property is likely to be hit.
  • Keep HUD in the know of what’s going on early and often about damage, what you’re doing with and for the residents. Also, fill out the necessary paperwork for HUD.Perez also suggests landlords network with other landlords in the state, reach out to local rescue teams, establish a relationship with local mental health experts and Health and Human Services.
disaster prep

A man rides his bicycle through a damaged road in Toa Alta, west of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 24, 2017 following the passage of Hurricane Maria and the same of the Roman Baldorioty de Castro highway on March 17, 2018 Composite: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty

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