tenant disaster_plan

disaster_planIf you manage even just one property, you’re probably aware of the vast levels of damage a natural disaster or emergency can cause. A key area of preparedness for property owners is making sure that there is a solidified tenant disaster plan in the event of emergency. Because many people may become panicked, angry, or otherwise act in a manner that may be detrimental to safety, having a plan in place is essential, especially if you manage multiple properties. No one can predict or prevent a natural disaster or an emergency. You can, however, help to educate your residents in respect to how to avoid certain problems, and what to do in case of those that cannot be avoided.

How you can communicate information about emergencies to your tenants

  • If you have a company newsletter, it may be a good idea to routinely remind tenants of fire policies and prevention methods. It can also be beneficial during certain seasons to offer a brief rundown of what to do in case of tornado, hurricane, or other storm. If your property is in an area where earthquakes may be an issue, you can also include tips on a regular basis as a part of your newsletter. It doesn’t have to be a feature article, just some standard emergency information.

  • Have a section in your rental agreement that outlines what you can and cannot do during the event of a natural disaster or emergency situation. Having contact information to local relevant authorities in addition to your own emergency contact information is also beneficial.

  • Offer a section on the company website that outlines the various emergencies that can occur and what to do if they should.

  • You can also create a specialized handbook to help residents understand not only how to prevent things like fires, but also, what to do should a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or other natural disaster occurs.

  • Purchase and hang disaster awareness and response posters in your main office. There are many resources for this at the official FEMA website, as well as plenty of other useful information you can use to help tenants be safer.

However you go about this, offering your tenants the peace of mind in knowing that you have plans for these events is helpful. It also can keep their expectations of you in these situations more realistic and help in keeping things more organized and safe should an unforeseen event occur.

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  1. […] Create emergency/disaster manual and protocols. […]

  2. […] enter without notice, but those are typically emergency situations such as heavy water leakage or fires. Nolo.com offers a great chart that can tell you what your state’s requirement for notice […]

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Kurt Kroeck has written articles in real estate, law, and art related niches for a number of high profile publications. He is an avid WW2 re-enactor, artist in graphite, charcoal, and digital media. He volunteers in animal rescue and enjoys spending time with his children.

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