Fourteen named storms—including seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes—are expected to form during the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1. The Weather Company expects the season to be slightly less active than last year but warns that residents along the coastal U.S. should be prepared no matter the forecast.
For community associations in these states, that means reviewing current emergency preparedness procedures for before, during, and after a hurricane, what supplies to include in emergency kits, and who to contact in the immediate aftermath.
Standard features of a hurricane plan include emergency contact information, responsibilities of the board, management, and residents, and a list of services that might be unavailable during and after a hurricane.
More specifically, this plan should have several checklists, including those that cover:
- Actions for the community’s incident commander
- Tasks that residents should complete before they evacuate
- Pre-storm and post-storm communications
- Post-storm grounds survey and cleanup
- Post-storm inspection of residential units
In addition, the plan should have a prepared notice advising residents of an impending hurricane and the risks of staying, a form to be filled out by residents who decide to stay, and what residents should know about the association’s insurance coverage and reserve funds.
Community associations also can make a list of relief organizations at the local and national level that residents can reach out to for help, as well as detail the process to seek aid and debris removal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Maintaining communication is critical during and after the immediate danger has passed. Determine which residents or board members will be on call in the event of an emergency, and identify if any ham radio operators live in the community or in the immediate area in the event that cell towers are rendered inoperable.
Does your community’s hurricane plan cover everything? Access more resources on CAI’s Community Disaster Preparedness & Relief pages.