By Dania S. Fernandez, Esq. / Published August 2017
Early planning and preparation is crucial for the safety of the community and for the full recovery of any property damage suffered. Associations can get started by first creating a master plan. The plan should include the safe keeping of all official records, before and after pictures and video, a telephone directory, inventory of equipment and supplies, and the formation of a disaster/evacuation committee.
Here are a few points to start creating your hurricane season master plan:
Have the following in a separate location:
1. Declaration of Condominium; Covenants and Restrictions;
2. Articles of Incorporation;
4. Rules and Regulations;
5. Amendments, if any;
6. Insurance policies;
7. Community architectural plans, plat, all construction plans, reports, and design;
8. Current owner roster;
9. Bank accounts, along with a list of authorized signatures and bank representative information;
10. Contracts for maintenance and operation, management, landscaping, security, etc.;
11. Employee information and emergency contact numbers.
Take pictures and video of your community before damage is suffered. Make sure to maintain these pictures and videos off site. Before/after pictures and videos can make a big difference when making a claim for property damage.
Create a telephone directory of all names, addresses, and phone numbers of the board of directors, management, maintenance personnel, local emergency officials, emergency service agencies, committee members, insurance agent, and association attorney.
Create an inventory (with pictures) of any equipment and supplies owned by the association, such as golf carts, tools, generator, pool equipment, computers, security system, furniture, electronics, etc.
Complete an inspection of the common areas alongside your community’s manager, landscape company, roofing company, contractor, engineer, and plumber. Request that each professional create a written report together with pictures of their findings. This report will provide evidence of your community’s condition before any storm or damage takes place and should be updated every year.
The board is given the power via the Florida Statute and the association governing documents to create committees. As part of the association’s master plan, create a disaster/evacuation committee. At your next board meeting have a line item titled, “Formation of Disaster/Evacuation Committee.”
The board of directors should provide instructions and an outline of what is expected from the committee. Make sure to create timelines and deadlines. There is no time to waste; a storm can happen at any moment. Provide this committee important numbers, including a list of all vendors, copies of all outstanding contracts, and a list of professionals employed by the association including but not limited to management, security, association accountant, attorneys, and insurance agent. The committee may be given the responsibilities of calling for help, guiding homeowners, and canceling services, calling all professionals and vendors as may be needed.
Dania S. Fernandez
Dania S. Fernandez & Associates P.A.
For more help on creating a master plan, call or e-mail the Law Offices of Dania S. Fernandez & Associates P.A. Our firm is dedicated to educating and guiding clients in the areas of homeowners and condominium associations, real estate, and insurance claim law for associations. Call us today at (305) 254-4492 or visit our website at www.daniafernandez.com.