One issue that is very important for HOAs to consider is how their community can prepare for a natural disaster. HOAs that fail to put these protocols in place can subject themselves to legal liabilities in the future. If your community does not have an HOA natural disaster preparation plan or is looking to update it, it is important to review the recommendations below.
9 Helpful Tips To Make Your HOA Natural Disaster Preparation Plan
1. Realistic Assessment of Local Potential Geographic Disasters
Depending on the location of your HOA, there will be different natural disaster risks. If your HOA is located in a place with hurricanes or earthquakes, then your community’s plan will be different. It is wise to talk to the local police or fire department to get a list of the various natural disaster risks that your community may face. From there, it will be possible to draft a strategy of protocols for natural disasters.
2. Know the Age Demographics of Your Community Members
Your community members may be varying ages. For example, if you have older community members, then you will need to modify your natural disaster strategy. If your community is mainly comprised of young families, then you will have to have strategies in place to help families protect themselves while protecting the safety of younger children as much as possible.
By having a comprehensive list of the age of your various community members, you will be able to have the best possible strategy to keep each of your community members safe in the event of a natural disaster.
3. Draft a Community Disaster Relief Plan
Drafting a comprehensive community disaster relief plan is a vital task for any HOA. Residents will not be content if there are not protocols in place. Establishing a community disaster relief plan will be vital to put your residents at ease and to be able to save as many lives as possible in the event of a severe natural disaster occurring.
4. Have Your HOA Disaster Protocols Published on Your HOA Website
Your HOA disaster protocols should be published on your website and visible in all common areas. If you are not making your protocols visible, it will be difficult for your residents to know what to do in the event of a natural disaster.
Having your HOA disaster protocols available on your website will be an excellent strategy to inform as many residents as possible about what procedures your HOA has set in place. You can also use social media to give reminders.
5. Constantly Review Your HOA Disaster Protocols with Your Residents
Reviewing your HOA disaster protocols with your residents should be a top priority. What your HOA has to realize is that many residents may come and go. If you are not constantly reviewing your protocols, many residents may not have a comprehensive understanding of them when the time comes that a natural disaster occurs.
Having regular review sessions, it will allow residents to ask common questions and increase understanding within your community. Your association should also have a way for residents to email their questions to your board members if they are unable to attend meetings. By making your HOA board members more accessible, you will be able to inform more of your residents about important safety protocols.
6. Invest in Electronic Alerts
Now that many of your residents will have email and cell phones, investing in an electronic alert system will be beneficial to your HOA and its ability to communicate with residents about protocols while an emergency is occurring within your community. Having an electronic alert system will be costly at first; however, it will provide a tremendous amount of value to your HOA and the residents of your community.
7. Constantly Survey the Roofs within Your Community
Roofs are an area that often goes unnoticed until a substantial repair is required. If your roofs need to be repaired, it is best to not wait until there is a natural disaster. If you are keeping your roof repairs current, it has the potential to lower safety risks resulting from natural disasters. HOAs that keep their roof repairs safe will be thanking themselves should a natural disaster occur.
8. Assess Your Community Plumbing
Plumbing is something that can cause expensive repairs and cause major safety hazards. Community plumbing needs to be inspected regularly. Even if there has not been a substantial natural disaster in your community for some time, it is unwise for your association to get complacent on plumbing inspections.
Be sure to consider plumbing when making your community natural disaster plans. The HOAs that integrate plumbing into their strategy will be able to save a great deal of capital later on due to avoiding costly repairs resulting from not repairing plumbing issues periodically.
9. The Benefits of Preparing Your HOA for Natural Disasters
There are many benefits to preparing your HOA and your community for natural disasters. When they occur, they cause a great deal of panic. If you can have concrete action plans in place, it will help your residents to feel comforted and safe. Having concrete action plans in place will also help your HOA to save as many lives as possible in the event of a natural disaster.
Prepare for Natural Disasters Better
How you prepare for an emergency or a natural disaster can save lives or cause more harm to the members of your community. It is not something the HOA board and the HOA management company can take lightly. Have an HOA natural disaster preparation plan in place and make sure not to cut corners. This way, you can guarantee safety in your community, regardless of what comes your way.