Protecting your Community Association during Hurricanes

For everyone who calls beautiful Central Florida home, hurricanes and other dangerous storms are a reality that we must respect and adequately prepare for this time of year.  As a reminder, hurricane season officially ranges from June 1st through November 30th and the purpose of this article is to help our condominium and homeowners’ associations prepare for hurricanes and other potentially dangerous storms.

For starters, it is essential for your community association to review its current emergency preparedness procedures.  Amongst other items, a hurricane plan should include emergency contact information, responsibilities of the board, management, and residents, and a list of services that might be unavailable during and after a hurricane.

Moreover, the following safeguards and tasks should be considered:

  • Have an updated roster of the community association available to multiple parties, specifically your Board of Directors and Management Company.  It is essential to account for the whereabouts of people residing within your community association during a hurricane or dangerous storm.
  • Take date-stamped photographs of your common elements/common areas before and after the storm.
  • In advance of a storm, reach out to vendors whose services you will likely need as a result of any damage to your community associated caused by the storm.  You will want to make sure that your legal counsel reviews any contracts.
  • Make sure that your community association has enough supplies, such as flashlights, batteries, water, etc.
  • Always back-up your computer files and data.
  • If your community association has an elevator, contact your elevator company for proper guidance in advance of the storm.
  • Remember to secure the property.  This includes pool furniture, planters, exterior decorations, etc.  All items that could become a danger due to high winds and/or rain should be secured and locked inside if possible.

In addition, your community association’s plan should have a prepared notice advising residents of an impending hurricane or dangerous storm and the risks of staying in your community, as well as a form to be filled out by residents who decide to stay within the community during the storm.

Community associations also can make a list of relief organizations that residents can reach out to for help.  The bottom line is that communication is critical, as a hurricane or dangerous storm will certainly bring a level of chaos and disruption.

Certainly, we hope that none of your condominiums or homeowners’ associations are affected by a hurricane or other dangerous storm this year.  However, living in Central Florida, the reality is that you likely will be affected in some way.  Please be proactive and take necessary measures to safeguard your community association and its residents.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact Martell & Ozim, P.A. for any of your community association needs.