This Is our Village

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Preparedness

With Hurricane Irene threatening other parts of the east coast, we thought it would be helpful to remind community leaders of some important hurricane preparation plans. This is especially important for those leaders who have no recent experience in implementing their hurricane plans. Since we are in the heart of hurricane season, this is a good opportunity to take steps which can protect lives and safeguard property.

Please take a few minutes to review the checklist below. Unfortunately, several potentially life-saving steps have been missed by communities in the past. Now is the time to:

Identify residents of your community who have special medical needs and who will require special procedures for evacuation. Failure to identify these individuals before the storm approaches places their lives at risk, as well as the safety of emergency personnel;

Photograph and document the condition of your property so that you can demonstrate to an insurer the condition of your property prior to any damage;

Make sure that your communities’ critical documents are copied and electronically stored in a safe, hurricane-proof location;

Make multiple copies of your insurance carrier's contact information and store in a readily available location for easy access after the storm;

Identify any residences in your community with absentee owners, and secure outdoor belongings that could become projectiles during the storm.

If you do not have a written hurricane preparedness plan, one should be developed specifically for your condominium, which includes:

- Important phone numbers at Century Village, at your condominium and in the community;
- Pre-Hurricane Season checklist;
- Evacuation Procedures;
- Information and check list of steps to be taken during a Hurricane Watch and Hurricane Warning;
- Unit owner responsibilities before evacuating;
- Post Hurricane Damage Assessment checklist

Irene was a close call for our area. However, with proper advance planning your condominium and its residents can be prepared to survive the storm.

Mark D. Friedman is a senior attorney at the Law Firm of Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.

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