Putting aside the tragedy in lives and damage inflicted by the hurricane that hit the mid-Atlantic last week, I wanted to offer some thoughts on how professional apartment management companies might want to prepare before severe weather.

Many companies have a hurricane or other severe weather policy to guide employees. These policies aim to protect human life, minimize property loss, and to assist where at all possible. Management will also typically have a emergency evacuation plan so as to know where our residents will be going in the event of an emergency. 

As a weather forecast begins to look ominous, among other points, supervisors should remind community managers to: (a) ensure back up generators (where applicable) are fueled and operational; (b) fill all gas cans; (c) collect batteries and flashlights; (d) clear storm drains and gutters; (e) make sure windows and doors are securely closed; (f) collect all trash cans and loose articles; (g) clear the pool area; (h) latch trash dumpster doors; (i) inspect your fire protection system; (j) secure all vacant apartments; (k) back up data stored on your computers; (m) let vendors know you may need assistance after the storm; (n) confirm where all community electrical, water, and gas shut off valves are located; and (o) purchase hurricane emergency kits. While this list is not exhaustive, it provides guidance for the types of issues we need to be prepared for.

In my next post, I will address thoughts for what to do after a hurricane or severe storm hits.