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Is Your HOA Hurricane Ready?

Hurricane season is something we need to be thinking about year-round in Florida, but with storm season upon us, now is the time condo associations throughout Miami-Dade need to act. Dig out your hurricane action plans, review your HOA’s policies and procedures, and start preparing for this year’s storm season.

A Hurricane Action Plan for Condo Associations

Condo association board members are responsible for creating and instituting policies and procedures to safeguard their residents and property as best they can. That means taking prudent steps to develop a hurricane action plan – before it’s too late. 

While hurricane preparation is a shared responsibility between individual unit owners and the association at large, there are several steps everyone in the community needs to be taking. Here’s a checklist of items to help your association prepare and stay protected.

Before the Storm

  • Gather and regularly update contact information for all unit owners, board members, management, maintenance personnel, and emergency service agencies. 
  • Safeguard the condo association’s official records. 
  • Take an inventory of your property.
  • Locate your building and facilities plan and make sure they are accurate. 
  • Review insurance policy(ies). It’s also a good idea to review how hurricane recovery efforts have impacted insurance in Florida.
  • Update a vendor list of services that will be most needed after a storm. 
  • Maintain property grounds and landscaping to minimize potential damage from debris.
  • Take inventory of emergency supplies as well as any supplies or property owned by the association, such as vans, golf carts, walkie-talkies, generators, etc.
  • Create a disaster/evacuation committee that is prepared to act in the event of an emergency.

During the Storm

  • Ensure all records are safely backed up remotely, in the cloud, and/or in watertight containers.
  • Secure outdoor furniture, plants, etc., and protect the building’s windows and doors.
  • Host an emergency board meeting as necessary to discuss and implement the hurricane action plan.
  • Maintain strong communication with residents and communicate an evacuation order, if needed.

After the Storm

  • Survey and document any damage by taking pictures and video.
  • Continue communicating with unit owners to keep them informed of the property status and safety concerns.
  • Get in touch with your insurance company to file claims if any damage occurred. Be sure also to consult your association attorney.

With summer upon us, be sure hurricane preparation is on your board’s next meeting agenda. Active preparation is your best line of defense against the next big storm. 

If you have questions about how to plan for a hurricane or have any questions about insurance law in Florida, get in touch with us at Dania Fernandez & Associates, P.A. by calling 305-254-4492.

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