The 2018 hurricane season is in full swing, which means association residents and board members should set aside some time to review their disaster and emergency plans if they haven’t done so already. A hurricane can bring devastating physical and financial damage to a community association if not properly prepared for.
Every community association board should have a clear mission statement, which should include the common goal of all associations – to maintain a safe, friendly and valuable community. In keeping up with this goal, it is the responsibility of the governing body to create and uphold a disaster preparedness plan.
The creation of a community disaster plan is usually led by a community manager or an emergency management consultant with input and cooperation from the board of directors. Most HOA board members are experts in their roles but have little to no experience in managing disasters or emergency responses, so it’s essential to have someone with the proper expertise leading the efforts.
What Should a Community Association Disaster Plan Include?
The community association disaster plan should clearly define the roles and responsibilities that each board member has during a disaster event, and should cover two main points; response and restoration.
Much of the response following a hurricane comes from emergency personnel and other government employees. However, the board may be expected to assist residents with short-term needs such as shelter, food, water or other supplies. The disaster plan should address which resources the board is willing and able to provide to residents who are temporarily displaced.
The restoration aspect of the disaster plan plays a crucial role in re-establishing normalcy in the community as quickly as possible. That includes working with a knowledgeable community association insurance broker who can ensure the board of directors has a good understanding of their insurance coverage and how it is applied in the event of a natural disaster.
Additional factors for board members to consider when working on a community association disaster plan include:
- Who residents can contact after a disaster.
- Whether or not a community manager will have the ability to be on site following a disaster event.
- Whether or not the community rules or regulations be affected during disaster response and recovery and how board members will approach possible changes.
- Procedures for seasonal residents who may be out of the area during storm season and procedures for residents who refuse to comply with storm season policies.
It is the board’s responsibility to make decisions that benefit the community as a whole, even in undesirable circumstances. While a well-crafted disaster plan can not prevent a storm from causing damage to an association, it can help keep residents safe and protect the association’s overall financial stability.
About Kevin Davis Insurance Services
For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our President Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (877) 807-8708 to speak with one of our representatives.