If you have a homeowners association in North or South Carolina, it’s important to have a post-hurricane and disaster event plan. Catastrophic events often happen when you are least prepared for them unless you spend some time in advance on planning.
And then, once the event has happened, there are important steps to take afterwards too.
Before and after disaster events, proper communication is key. Start by assessing any and all damages that happened. If you experienced a tornado, hurricane, or hail storm, began with inspection of the common areas, equipment, and building structures. This should be done by an HOA contractor, your board, or your HOA management company.
This inspection should determine how severe any damages are and whether or not the property is safe. You’ll also want to decide what might need to happen for preventing more damage, such as turning off utilities, boarding up doors or windows, or adding tarps to vehicles and roofs.
After inspection is done, it’s the board’s job to immediately communicate with members about the inspection. Let them know what you found and if there are any dangers. If you are dealing with safety issues, let owners know they shouldn’t access that area. If you need to, post Warning signs or add fencing around unsafe areas.
Also, be clear that you will update them as soon as possible with any changes. The last additional thing you want to deal with is panic from members who are left in the dark.
At this point, you’ve completed the initial inspection. Now it’s time to have your licensed and certified general contractor look at the property and perform a detailed inspection. Then, these results should also be shared with community members.
When it is for sure safe to access the property again, let members know. If power is out, tell everyone to remove food from their freezers and fridge if it’s been long enough to spoil and have them take out any valuables. If the situation is severe, they might need to remove enough items for the building to be cleaned or restored.
An insurance claim should be filed with the insurance carrier by the HOA manager or board if the amount of damages are more than the insurance deductible. Then, have your contractors being the cleanup.