Disaster & Long Range Planning

Back to homepage

Should HOA’s Receive FEMA Funds?

With recent storms ravaging homes across the nation, many homeowners are taking a closer look at the laws and regulations put in place to help rebuild after a natural disaster. For most concerned homeowners, one of the main questions is

Read More

Hurricane Shutters and Hurricane Protection Policies: Does your Condominium have what it needs? (FL)

With the recent threat from Hurricane Irma, many condominium associations were faced with emergency requests from unit owners for the association to install or for the association to allow owners to install hurricane shutters or other forms of hurricane protection. 

Read More

FEMA Assistance Available in HOAs (FL)

When we are affected by weather-related damage, it’s reassuring to know that private communities such as ours can rely on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in certain circumstances.  While we must continue to be proactive and adhere to our

Read More

How To Prepare Your HOA in The Event of a Natural Disaster

Consider this scenario: You are a board member for an HOA that represents over 300 residents in a condominium complex of 20 buildings. In the early hours of a Thursday morning, you are awakened by a loud knocking at your

Read More

After the Hurricane, Associations Should Approach the Rebuilding Process with Care

Four weeks after Hurricane Irma, most associations have likely made progress in making temporary repairs to damaged communities. This week’s column will focus on the various issues that arise during the rebuilding process that occur after the storm. Part of

Read More

Thinking About Disaster Planning? You Should Be!

Most people think about disasters as something that happens to others, not to them. But after witnessing back-to-back weather catastrophes in Houston, Florida, the Caribbean, and more recently in Puerto Rico, many condominium associations are recognizing that the unthinkable could,

Read More

Floods And Flood Insurance: Don’t Be Up The Creek Without A Paddle

As we, our neighbors, families, and friends, here and in Puerto Rico, are picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, the prospect of making claims on our homeowner’s insurance policies can seem overwhelming in

Read More

CAI Advocates Storm Capitol Hill for FEMA & Housing Finance Reform

There is nothing quite like walking the Halls of Congress on a sunny fall day in Washington, D.C. This week, there were hundreds of people visiting their Members of Congress talking about issues ranging from The Jones Act, Health Care

Read More

Red Tape is Stalling Houston Debris Pickup For Residents On Private Streets (TX)

The trash that littered the front lawns of homes, caused by water leaked from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, has mostly vanished, with debris behind the houses still left for pickup. But the street that splits the homes is only

Read More

Who Is Responsible for Damage and Removal of Downed Trees? (FL)

Hurricane Irma caused a lot of damage in Central Florida and we are still dealing with downed trees and limbs littering neighborhoods. Since the storm, we have received countless phone calls from clients asking who is responsible for damage caused

Read More

South Florida condos pass challenging test posed by Irma

One can’t help but wonder how images of Hurricane Irma turning the Brickell financial district and downtown Miami streets into rivers will influence foreign buyers in the coming months. Fortunately, Irma brought with her valuable lessons to help the region’s

Read More

How an HOA Manager Helps the Board Prepare for Emergency Situations

When people think of an emergency, the first image that usually comes to mind is a natural disaster. But an emergency in your homeowners association isn’t always a flood or fire. There can also be financial or management-related emergencies that

Read More

Debris Removal in Community Associations

Traditionally and most commonly, local municipalities remove debris following a hurricane and FEMA reimburses the local municipality for their expenses. FEMA usually requires the applicant (local municipality) to obtain written approval prior to starting work in order to qualify for

Read More

FEMA rules about gated communities muddle cleanup of Hurricane Irma debris

Mounds of storm debris in a Gotha gated community worry homeowners association president Mike George, who wonders if Hurricane Irma’s mess will ever get picked up — and by whom.  “The whole area really got blasted,” said George, standing in

Read More

Cinco Ranch flooding victims: Who’s in charge?

More than 790 of the 8,700 homes in the Cinco Ranch master-planned community outside of Houston were destroyed during Hurricane Harvey last month. In the wake of this destruction, according to the Houston Chronicle, some residents have been left wondering

Read More

The Importance of Community Risk Reduction

Have you ever heard the phrase “community risk reduction” and wondered what it means and how it affects you?  Community risk reduction (CRR) is not a new concept. It is preparedness at its best — a proactive approach to problem-solving.

Read More

Does the association’s insurance cover hurricane damages to building exteriors?

Q: I am a member of the board of directors of the condominium association which governs the community in which I reside. While we were preparing for Hurricane Irma questions arose relating to insurance coverage for damages caused to the

Read More

Community associations need to be hurricane-proof, too

As Mike Tyson said, “Everybody’s got a plan until they get hit.” This hurricane season is confirming the need for community associations to develop the right plans, learn from their experiences and continually refine their plans.  Many volunteer community association

Read More

This is the Right Way to Respond to Disaster in Community Association Management

Today is the first day we have been back in the office since our area was hit by Hurricane Irma. I am thankful that all of us made it through the storm in one piece, and I am especially grateful

Read More

Community Association Questions Post Hurricane Irma

As with many Florida communities, my HOA Board had questions in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Would FEMA pay to pick up all our debris, when should the security guards be asked to return to duty and could we tap

Read More

Hurricane Irma Take-Aways for Condo & Community Associations

Hurricane Irma Take-Aways for Community Associations 1 – Review and Update Insurance Policies. All insurance policies should be reviewed and updated as necessary, at least annually. Review dates should be calendared well in advance and incorporated into other annual must-do

Read More

Helpful Tips to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim (FL)

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe after the storm with little to no damage to your property. Our thoughts remain with those whose homes and loved ones were impacted by Hurricane Irma. As local, state and

Read More

Hurricane Irma Hit – Now What? (FL)

We were just hit by the biggest storm in Florida’s history. Although there is damage, you are grateful everyone is safe and comforted by knowing that you have insurance. But, did you know that you are responsible to prevent additional

Read More

In Heavily Flooded West Houston, a Neighborhood Comes Together to Save Itself (TX)

One of the first rescues was 120 pounds of wet, terrified Rhodesian ridgeback, wide-eyed and shaking on top of a kitchen counter. It was Sunday, August 27. A neighbor kid had been pet-sitting for the dog’s out-of-town owners, when he

Read More

High-rises meet residents’ needs during disasters (TX)

When a natural disaster strikes, whether it be a flood or hail storm, high-rise living is an option that can take the stress out of picking up the pieces after everything settles down.  High-rises, which all have extensive management operations,

Read More

Guidance for Working With FEMA for Debris Removal Following Hurricanes Harvey & Irma

As storm victims struggle to survive after the devastation and loss caused by Hurricane Harvey, the first thing individuals and community associations should do is register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Community association residents are most

Read More

Your Florida Board of Directors Now Has Emergency Powers as a Result of Hurricane Irma; What Will You Do With Them?

Governor Scott has declared a Florida-wide state of emergency which now deploys the emergency powers for volunteer boards found in Sections 718.1265, 719.128 and 720.316 of the Florida Statutes. Hurricane Irma may prove to be the testing ground for these

Read More

Preparing for Hurricane Irma (FL)

Forecasters and South Florida residents are keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma, a system that has recently been upgraded to a Category 5 and is forecasted to possibly impact the Florida Keys through portions of the Florida Peninsula. Although the

Read More

Five Mistakes Your Board of Directors Can Avoid if Hurricane Irma Hits

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction and with Irma fast approaching the eastern US coastline, I could blog about the steps your community needs to take to prepare. I’ve written that blog post many times before and I often

Read More

Insurance Reminders for Community Associations Preparing for Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is now a category five storm that is predicted to impact the state of Florida by late this week. As all community associations prepare their properties for the storm, they should also take specific measures to prepare for

Read More

Carter Lake residents counting blessings following storms – Dam working as designed in College Station neighborhood (TX)

The Carter Lake Homeowners Association activated its emergency plan over the weekend as Harvey pushed into the Brazos Valley and southeast Texas, but the spillway at the dam has kept the record rainfall from flowing into houses.     Read the

Read More

Overflowing Lake Conroe floods North Montgomery County homes (TX)

Tropical Storm Harvey dumped so much water into Lake Conroe over the weekend that the lake water rose so high so quickly, flooding homes in communities along the waterfront, according to residents.  While no injuries or deaths were reported, officials

Read More

Crumbling bridge leaves dozens in Bastrop County stranded after Harvey (TX)

Residents in the Sand Hills development in Bastrop County, just outside the city of Red Rock, tell KXAN the rains that followed Harvey destroyed their bridge. That bridge is the only way to get in and out of their neighborhood.

Read More

Should you ride out a hurricane in a high-rise? (FL)

“Should I stay or should I go?” asked The Clash in their classic 1981 rock song.  That’s the same question Miami high-rise dwellers could be asking themselves as hurricane season enters its busiest stretch.  Thousands of people who weren’t around

Read More

Lightning and Your HOA Community

When most of us think of summer, we think of hot sunny days by the water, but the summer months in Texas are also known for their wild storms. It can be hot one minute, and the next second the

Read More

Creating Your HOA Emergency Plan for When Disaster Strikes

You’ve started the process of pre-preparing a disaster plan for your HOA. Now, you want to take a step forward and create an HOA emergency plan that will allow you to provide assistance for your members when an emergency occurs.

Read More

Flood insurance: Condos and the rising tide (VA)

Perhaps you’ve noticed homes in Norfolk’s Larchmont neighborhood jacked up several feet to escape flooding, or you’ve seen chilling news photos of single-family houses or townhouses surrounded by floodwater.  Sights like these may give the impression that single-family homes, whether

Read More

Why Your Community Must Plan for Emergency Communication and Training

Whether you live in a high-rise condominium in Chicago, a homeowners association (HOA) in Houston or an active adult community in Las Vegas, emergencies can happen. Do you think your residents would know where to go or whom to contact

Read More

Pre-Planning for an HOA Disaster Response: Roles and Responsibilities

Disaster planning is critical for anyone–but it’s doubly significant for HOAs and others in positions of authority. If a natural disaster strikes in your area, are you prepared to respond? Knowing the roles and responsibilities your HOA has in times

Read More

WeHo City Council Gives Condo Owners a Pass on Earthquake Safety (CA

Faced with dozens of letters in opposition and a crowd carrying signs saying “voluntary,” the West Hollywood City Council last night quickly yielded to owners of condominiums who demanded it not require them to protect their buildings against earthquakes.  The

Read More

Monsoon Season Madness – Be Prepared!

“We can’t do anything to prevent the monsoon, but we can prepare.” Weldon B. Johnson, The Republic | azcentral.com With summertime comes monsoon season, you never know when a big dust storm or heavy torrential downpour may hit! Is your

Read More

Insurance Reminders for Condo Associations at Start of Hurricane Season (FL)

With hurricane season now underway, Florida condominium associations should take the time to ensure that they and their owners are prepared for a storm. In addition to ensuring that hurricane shutters are operational and all of the necessary supplies are

Read More

Why a HOA Strategic Plan is Key to Your Homeowners Association

Your HOA’s strategic plan is a high-level planning tool and document designed to capture your organization’s values and goals while providing direction and motivation to your members. Ideally, the HOA board drafts the strategic plan through a progressive series of

Read More

Be Prepared for Florida’s 2017 Hurricane Season

Florida hurricane season is underway and residents of the Sunshine State may be in for more storms than usual. State officials are warning Floridians to be prepared, noting that Tropical Storm Arlene’s April appearance may be a harbinger.  According to

Read More

Prepare Your Landscape For The Upcoming Summer and Hurricane Season

With summer ahead, it’s time to prepare for the heat, storms and humidity that occur in south Florida. It is time to prepare for the hurricane season. It is important that along with your personal and home safety, you also

Read More

Condo owners ready for flood, thanks to plan

In the middle of a large evacuation alert area, in which residents are busy sandbagging and draining basements of rising groundwater, one building’s name seems particularly apt given current events.  The Water’s Edge.  “It’s a perfect name,” George Mapson, president

Read More

Strategy – Your condo can do better

Annual revenue approaching $1 million, market valuation of $50 – $60 million, 4-6 full or part-time staff members, a management team and a board of directors. It’s a typical 100 unit condo in a Canadian urban area, but you can

Read More

When a Natural Disaster Strikes, Is Your Association Covered?

Hurricanes. Floods. Tornadoes. Hail. Wildfires. Lightning strikes. Earthquakes. Blizzards. Mother Nature has quite the arsenal to throw at us! Unfortunately, every part of North America is subject to one or more of these events. Some, like hurricanes, come with enough

Read More

Power Outages and Blackouts – How Your Association Can Minimize Risk

Losing power is never fun. But it’s bound to happen at some point, so preparation is the best defense. Obviously, different types of communities are affected by blackouts in different critical ways: high-rises lose their elevators and water; resort-style gated

Read More

Hurricane Plans and Policies: Reduce Your Association’s Risk

The Atlantic hurricane season begins each year on June 1 and runs through November 30. This is the time when the eastern coastal United States may witness Mother Nature’s wrath through furious ocean-born storms that for some reason are given

Read More