Did you know 60% of Americans aren’t prepared for a disaster? And that’s even though 80% live in a county where a weather-related disaster has taken place.
Emergency preparedness is not something to take lightly. But it’s not just the responsibility of individual homeowners. HOAs should have their own emergency preparedness checklist, too. So if you don’t have one, it’s time to get started!
Unsure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here are some items every HOA should have on its emergency preparedness checklist.
General Emergency Preparedness Checklist
There are certain items your HOA should have prepared that’ll help you out during any type of emergency.
- Create a communication plan. How will you let residents and owners know about this emergency? Make sure you have up-to-date contact information and encourage residents to use a site like Next Door to communicate.
- Establish a meeting point. Choose an area in the community where residents can meet. If utilities and cell phone towers are down after an emergency, it’ll be helpful to know where they can go for updates, assistance, supplies, or camaraderie.
- Have an evacuation plan. With Florida in the path of many hurricanes, this is vital information. Make sure all residents know where to go in the event of a structured evacuation.
- Encourage residents to have their own emergency preparedness plan. The government has plenty of information you can distribute, or you can create your own.
- Take photos of all common areas. This is particularly important for insurance purposes. If you have a date-stamped camera, that’s even better. If not, email them to another HOA board member the same day, so you’ll have a record of when the pictures were taken.
- Have a site plan. This will let you know where you can find your shut off valves and generators. Depending on the emergency, this could be critical information for emergency respondents.
- Create an emergency kit. For the community, create an emergency supply kit so you can help those who need it. Include items like flashlights, first aid kits, non-perishable food, and bottles of water.
Specific Emergency Checklists
A general emergency preparedness checklist is helpful, but you also need to prepare for specific types of situations.
Hurricanes and Tornadoes
- Know how to contact FEMA and other emergency service groups.
- Buy handheld radios so you can communicate once clean up begins if cell towers are down.
- Establish what the HOA management will be able to do before, during, and after the storm.
- Create a plan to shut down shared amenities and water valves.
- Make or buy sandbags.
- Have a list of water removal and mold remediation groups on hand.
- Establish a dumpster for any debris.
- Afterward, make sure to adjust the water in lakes, ponds, and community pools.
- Make sure everyone knows who to contact.
- Know how to get a hold of the insurance company.
- Have a debris removal vendor list on hand.
Now You’re Prepared!
Of course, there are many more types of disasters than what’s covered here. But with this emergency preparedness checklist, you’ll be prepared for even the most unlikely of disasters.
Does your HOA need help to manage all its responsibilities? We can help! Learn all about how American Home Team Realty can help you with all your HOA management needs.