Plan and Prepare

The Benefits of Developing an Emergency Preparedness Plan for your Community Association

Community Associations can cope with disasters by preparing an Emergency Preparedness Plan in advance and having a course of action in place should an emergency arise. As Hurricane Sandy so disastrously taught us, we must be prepared for the unexpected and having this information organized and ready for use can have a huge impact on recovery efforts.

Some of the main areas of information an Emergency Preparedness Plan focuses on include:

  • Basic Community Information – This information provides a clear description of the site and includes site address, phone numbers, # of units, and detailed description of common area facilities.
  • Important Contact Information – This part of the plan organizes all of the contact information that sites may require during an emergency. Everything from Management Company, Maintenance Company, Association Attorney, Engineer, Insurance, Other Site Vendors, Local Emergency, and most importantly Current Resident Contacts are clearly outlined for easy and quick reference.
  • Evacuation Plan – The Evacuation Plan describes what residents will do if evacuation becomes necessary. The plan establishes an evacuation team as well as safe meeting locations. A map should also be included to show emergency evacuation routes.
  • Various Emergency Plans – This part of the plan should include a description of various Emergency Plans that could pertain to your community. Some examples include: Severe Weather Sheltering Plan, Shelter in Place Plan, Fire Emergency Plan, and a Hurricane Preparedness Plan. Each plan is tailored to the specific emergency and provides a list of procedures and precautions for the community to follow in case of an event.
  • Photos of Specific Site Features – To conclude your plan, a photographic record of your site should be compiled for reference and insurance purposes. The areas photographed should include the building exterior, common areas, mechanical and utility components, office, roof, stairwells, common hallway and basement.

The benefits of having a plan like this are obvious. One of the biggest obstacles we face as a Maintenance Company is helping our clients to understand the difference between reactive and proactive actions. An Emergency Preparedness Place is a perfect example of a proactive action communities can take in order to protect themselves in case of an emergency. It is a priceless investment should your community ever have to put one of these plans into effect.

For more information on developing your own Emergency Preparedness Plan, contact Lauren Vadenais at [email protected]