Disaster & Long Range Planning

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They’re ready to fix their storm-damaged homes and move in. Not so fast, they’re told (FL)

Three months post-Hurricane Irma, the 126-unit property of the Ocean Isles Fishing Village in Marathon is a ghost town.  It’s at mile marker 53 oceanside, tucked behind a plaza, and could easily be overlooked while driving north on U.S. 1.

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How to Approach the Rebuilding Process After a Hurricane

After the devastating effect of 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 occurs after the storm.

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You Managing a Senior Community?

Great information for CMCAs managing an age-restricted community to share with your homeowners. Disaster Preparation For Seniors By Seniors is produced by American Red Cross.    Read the article……………….

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How HOAs Respond to Emergencies

Crime, natural disasters, and medical emergencies are usually not top of mind–until they happen. Your homeowners association management company plays a role in the planning and recovery of emergencies–not during the emergency itself. In moments of crisis, such as fire,

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Recovery Plan – Preparing Your Community for Emergencies (Part 3)

Any emergency situation puts a lot of pressure on all community members. The safety of all community members and staff, and returning to daily tasks are the most important. In our previous two blog posts, we discussed how to evaluate

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Hurricane Insurance, Part 2: 4 Tips for Ensuring Comprehensive Hurricane Insurance Coverage

When hurricanes roll in, violent weather in the form of extreme rain and high-speed winds results in loss of life and property alike. We saw the devastating results near the end of this year’s hurricane season during Tropical Storm Lidia,

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Hurricane Insurance: 6 Tips for a Successful Claims Process

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Lidia, many board members and homeowners are now left dealing with the destruction these storms left in their wake – it’s estimated that Hurricane Irma alone caused more than

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Aversion/Disaster Mitigation – Preparing Your Community for Emergencies (Part 2)

Once you’ve evaluated the current situation or emergency plan (whether you have a plan in place or not, and if you do, how much and what needs to be altered), it’s time to draft or update the plan. Work on

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Paying for Emergency Repairs to Florida Condominiums

Florida is synonymous with condominium living as a way of life. It’s also synonymous with hurricanes. Hurricanes have largely shaped Florida’s construction industry in that the building code is shaped and modeled after the construction of structure that can withstand

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Plan In Advance: How Associations Can Improve Their Response To Disasters

It’s almost been two months since Hurricane Irma devastated the southeast United States. While it certainly could have been far worse for Southwest Florida, many community associations are still working through a variety of difficult issues, including processing insurance claims,

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Federal government buying out flood-plagued Bridge Pointe townhomes in West Ashley (SC)

For the first time, the federal government has agreed to buy out flood-stricken homes in Charleston.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a $2.45 million grant to buy out the owners of 35 Bridge Pointe townhomes in West Ashley,

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Elevators pose problems after Hurricane Irma in Boca high-rises

Boca Raton’s Assistant Fire Chief Matt Welhaf never got more calls about out-of-service elevators than he did after Hurricane Irma from people who live in beachfront buildings.  Turns out there’s a city law about keeping at least one elevator in

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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

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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. 

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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