Governor Crist just announced that our Florida lawmakers will be heading back to Tallahassee starting July 20th to deal with the ongoing BP Oil Spill crisis. Moreover, the Governor has already declared a state of emergency for 26 of our coastal counties.
We cannot currently predict the magnitude of the effects of the BP Oil Spill on our State, our country and our planet. Our losses will sadly not be confined solely to large economic losses. We watch this ecological disaster in “real time” via the internet and other technology but do we really understand how it has already impacted every Floridian and will continue to do so for years to come?
I have received numerous requests from community association members and their association managers throughout the State inquiring about what they can and should be doing right now and in the future to recover from potentially devastating and overwhelming losses. The foreclosure crisis has already taken a harsh toll on far too many of our Florida communities; it is certainly not pleasant to think about the further erosion in community health that this spill can bring. Already sales contracts around the State are being drafted with “oil spill contingencies” that will allow potential purchasers to back out of their contracts with the return of their deposits should a certain percentage of tar balls be present prior to closing. The insurance and banking industries are currently working on new business models to protect their interests, undoubtedly at the expense of our communities. Waving the white flag of surrender is not really an option and ignorance is rarely bliss in a community association. What then, should boards, managers and association members be doing right now? We will be discussing that over the next few blogs.