Weather is big business. The Weather Channel on cable started in 1982. Of course, we had weather long before then (pun intended). It’s just amazing how the terms “partly sunny” and “mostly cloudy” have turned into a 24/7 industry. Real time information transformed the way we look at weather reports and forecasting.
As property manager’s, managing incidents caused by weather is part of managing financial risk at the property level. While we can insure against certain weather-related occurrences, we cannot control their timing or level of damage to property.
For a PM company weather is part of our job description to know, plan and adjust action plans. This goes beyond snow. Like running water, with weather, it’s always something. Normalized weather and dramatic events constantly affect the way buildings act and breath in their environment. Here are some of the ways we use weather reports and forecasting.
Preparedness – planning for seasonal occurrences. For seasonal weather its nice to know the forecast to plan accordingly. For unseasonal weather it is necessary to know the forecast to plan accordingly.
Insurance claims – hazard. Any weather-related claim will include a weather report.
Insurance claims – fire. As with hazard insurance, we look to weather reports to guide us about if weather was a factor in the amount of damage. Did a cold night slow the fire or was wind whipping an instigator that spread the fire?
Incident reports – slip and fall. Every incident report requires a weather report to give clarity to conditions on the ground when the incident occurred.
Maintenance and repairs – Seals and coatings. While Mother nature has complete control over occurrences we can fight back with the use of building materials to keep wind and rain outside.
Weather is boring until it is not. Adverse weather events can close us down and create an immediate need for increased manpower. A review of historic weather patterns can narrow the scope of seasonal weather patterns and increase preparedness and preparedness is our best defense for minimizing the effect of weather on our portfolio.
Mr. Wilhoit is the author of two books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 – How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets.
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