Property Management: Preparing for Disaster

Property Management: Preparing for Disaster

In the wake of numerous natural disasters over the last decade, it has become sadly obvious that a large majority of the world is not only unprepared for the worst, but remains unconcerned at the possibility of being struck by a natural disaster. Granted it’s understandable most forget when natural disasters hit at random, however, as a major communal threat, it is imperative that your properties have a backup plan available. In aiming for the safety of your residents, staff, and assets, here are a few key points to consider when preparing your emergency plan:

Physiological Backup
The Physiological Backup: One of the most notable aspects when preparing for the worst, the physiological backup, deals with stockpiling basic supplies (such as water,  canned foods, batteries, flash lights, matches, etcetera). This factor, while apparent when extended towards residents, may also be needed towards staff. Is your property equipped to aid, not only your residents, but also your staff should they be required to remain on site?

Physical Backup
The Physical Backup: Whether or not this tip is already known, it is still important to stress the usefulness of having some staff that are cross trained in each other’s jobs. While expertise is in no shape undesirable, little matters—such as where they keep their important documents, what their passwords might be to access records, and where they store their list of vendor contacts—will go a long way during a crisis.

Vendor Backup
The Vendor Backup:  In addition to staff adapting to an emergency plan, vendors should be able to accommodate as well. In the event of a natural disaster, your vendors should be able to answer questions, taking care of your needs in a timely manner. Do your vendors have such a response plan?

Digital Backup
The Digital Backup: With so much reliance on electronic storage and service, do you know if your data is secure? You and your vendor’s digital data should be available not simply on-site, but elsewhere in order to make restoration during the aftermath progress seamlessly. As one such data company, CIC utilizes multiple emergency plans. With different sites across the country, we are able to keep our systems online should one region be affected in any way.

Of course, it’s daunting to prepare for such a significant and lengthy plan, as the ambiguity of what and when it might strike is endless. Yet it’s still inevitable that a natural phenomenon will affect your properties in some way. And just as a crisis strikes (as if Pandora’s Box had leaked open), you’ll appreciate taking the time to create a backup plan because in the end, that plan will equal hope.

Ryan Green has been in the housing industry for nearly 10 years working in various roles.  He has both FCRA and Experian Certifications in Resident Screening. CIC is a Resident Screening leader with over 27 years of experience in the multifamily industry providing credit reports, nationwide eviction, criminal reporting and more.

About This Blog
Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel.

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