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Homeowner Associations must take action post hurricane Irma

We are in the midst of tropical storm season. This year has been particularly active. Puerto Rico is without power and drinking water. Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas. Hurricane Irma swept through here in Florida, after growing in strength to category five at one point. Though damage has already occurred, hurricane season technically still has two months remaining. Homeowner Associations will need to be vigilant in the process of repairing homes.

Chances are that as an association, you already have best practices and plans in place for tropical storm season damage. It is your goal to have residents back to a normal way of life, and standard living conditions met, as soon as possible.

Communicate with your residents.

After the scare and damage of a storm, residents may need reassurance. The aftermath of a storm can be disorienting and hectic. If residents have been displaced due to the storm and damage, it can be extra stressful and trying. You will want to communicate a clear strategy and updates to residents to help ease their stress and concerns. If your community has an alert system, as an association, you will want to continue to embrace that protocol. If no alert system is in place, one should be established immediately. Make sure residents know what is happening with their home and who is responsible for all types of repairs. Also make sure residents understand their role in the process.

Take care of emergency repairs

The association will want to take action to handle emergency repairs. It is important to take action quickly and thoroughly. Without swift action, damage could become worse. Immediately work with the proper insurance channels to get the repair process moving. The association will want to keep comprehensive documentation of damages, contracts, protocols and communications with the insurance company, contractors and residents throughout this time. It will be important to keep records to show what caused the damage.

Follow-up post repairs

As an association, you will want to photograph and document the repairs upon completion. You will also want to check-in with residents at this time. Let residents know what repairs have been made. If there are still issues that the residents are responsible for, make sure you talk to them about that process and how they can take action.

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