We go through this routine every year in Florida: a tropical storm is strengthening and it is all anyone talks about on the news, radio and at work. At times it feels like some people get a kick out of the tense drama of it all. While also worrying about their own families, homes and businesses, board members are also expected to worry about and prepare the community as a whole. What then should your board do when those first storm rumblings start to be heard?
If you haven't already done so earlier in the hurricane season, immediately review your association contracts to determine what assistance your association vendors can and should give you both pre- and post-storm and at what price.
Management Contract: what extraordinary relief services will be provided by your manager or management company? What is the priority of services to be provided and what additional charges for such services will you have to pay?
Landscaping Contract: what preventative services such as tree trimming and debris removal do they provide? What relief and clean-up services will they provide and in what time-frame post storm? Can you pay ahead of time to secure a better price for debris removal?
Security Contract: when will security personnel leave before the storm hits and when will they be back on the job after the storm passes? If you have electronic gates, what needs to be done to secure them in the event of a storm?
Elevator Contract: if you don't have a generator can your elevator company provide you with one? What relief services can they provide post storm and what preventative steps can you take in advance?
Construction Contract: if the association is in the midst of any construction work on its property, the contract should contain a clause requiring the contractor to secure the premises, empty any waste bins and secure their work material before a storm arrives so construction materials do not become flying missiles and inflict even more damage. Owners with ongoing individual renovation projects should similarly be required to prepare their property for the storm.
Insurance Policies: Make a note of your casualty policy limits and deductibles. Make sure your agent explains in detail any exclusions to your policies. Most importantly, make sure all premiums have been paid and that your coverage is ACTIVE!
Tomorrow we will discuss necessary preparations for your association documents, your people and your facilities. Forewarned is forearmed!