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13500 North Kendall Drive, Ste 265 • Miami FL 33186

Year-round Emergency Preparedness for Florida Condo Communities

Here in Florida, when we think of natural disasters, we think of hurricanes, but there are many circumstances in which your condo association needs to be prepared. Making an emergency response plan (ERP) and budging appropriately for it is a best practice all Miami HOAs should take part in. 

Steps to Creating an ERP for Your HOA

While we’re not immune to natural disasters and other emergencies, it can be easy to let preparation slide… until it’s too late. Don’t wait to review or update your emergency response plan. Make a resolution to do it now. Here are some action items to consider as you revise or develop a new ERP. 

  • Conduct an updated risk assessment: If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your emergency plan, come at it with fresh eyes. It can be helpful to establish a committee to spearhead the discussion and planning. What are some of the most common risks facing your community? Consider natural disasters, accidents, social threats, pandemic preparedness and others. 
  • Review your communication plan: Another important facet of any ERP is ensuring you have a clear communication plan and a chain of command for implementing it. Review your communication protocol for alerting residents about emergency situations and make sure you have accurate and up-to-date information for every resident. While you’re at it, double-check your emergency contact list to have a complete list of essential emergency contacts, including local authorities, utility companies, medical facilities and community volunteers.
  • Create evacuation plans: Whether you must evacuate your property or the state due to a natural disaster, every Floridian needs to be familiar with evacuation procedures. For your HOA in particular, be sure to develop evacuation routes and assembly points so residents know where to go in case the property needs to be evacuated.
  • Refresh the emergency supply kit: Always maintain an inventory of emergency supplies, such as first aid kits, water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries and blankets. Encourage your residents to maintain their own “go bags,” too. Lastly, don’t forget to update and replenish these supplies regularly – and budget for them!
  • Conduct regular ERP training/drills: An emergency response plan is only effective when everyone knows it exists. Organize training sessions and drills to familiarize residents with emergency procedures. If revisions need to be made to the process after hosting a drill, make the updates right away.

Emergencies can breed even further chaos, but with a thorough disaster plan in place, you can create an efficient process for restoring order as quickly as possible. To learn more about other proactive steps your HOA can do to protect its residents, contact our team at Dania Fernandez and Associates, P.A.

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