As a property manager, your to-do list just became a lot more complex after dealing with a hurricane. Although there are so many problems to address, there is an appropriate order on how to go about addressing them. Following a specific order on restoring your property can save you time as well as stress. If your property has been hit by the recent hurricanes, we recommend taking these next steps to ensure a safe and cost effective recovery.
Communicate with your Tenants
Before making any major moves on cleaning or rebuilding any broken items, speak with your tenants. Notify them of what is going on and let them know of the actions you plan on taking to make sure the property is safe to walk around. Also, ask around for any major emergency accident reports, such as a broken window or a flooded area. This will allow for less of a surprise during your initial walk through of your property.
Take time turning on each of your appliances once you’ve confirmed that you’ve regained electricity within your property. Powering on too many pieces of equipment at once could damage something. Start with larger equipment such as generators, fuse boxes or anything that used up more power. Warn your tenants to use caution when plugging equipment back in. Avoid any equipment that looks damaged as it may not be safe to power on. Use safety gloves if necessary.
Record the Damage
Look around your property to see what has been damaged. This includes power lines, outdoor generators, broken tree limbs and other fallen debris. Be sure to photograph any damage that has been done as you will need this proof to show to your insurance companies. You may also want to take notes of any damage as most insurance companies will be interested in as much detail as possible. Again, use caution when needing to move equipment or damaged debris. You may also want to consider safety gloves and glasses for protection.
Consult your property Insurance Company
Be aware that there is a good chance that many properties and home owners around you are going through a very similar process in recovering from the hurricane. Act fast on filing any damage claims as most insurance companies act on a first-come, first serve basis. The faster you can record your information and get it on paper to your insurance company, the faster your property will be up and functioning properly as it did.
After you’ve made the appropriate claims with your insurance company, and have taking photos of all damaged areas of your property, begin the cleaning process. This is the most common step to take after wondering what to do after a hurricane, however it should only be done once you complete the steps above. Moving forward, start with the most common areas such as lobby entrances, driveways and walkways. It’s important that you make your property a safe zone for your tenants and guests to walk through.
Whether you’ve got an in-house team to clean your area or you’re working with an outsourced service company, be sure that everyone approaches each setting with caution. Also, while the worst may be over, keep your hurricane awareness high by following local storm reporters and news channels. You can never be too safe. If you have any major concern or emergency, please contact your local police or fire department.