Important Community Association Disaster Checklist
Posted on September 8, 2017 to Other News
Here are important tasks for a community association in the case of a disaster:
Before the storm:
- Appoint a board director or officer as the Disaster Coordinator and/or set up a Disaster Committee, the coordinator and/or committee or cam should communicate with the membership after the storm.
- Communication to the membership can be made via the community website.
- Encouraged Evacuation of the membership, provide the membership with information on shelters, Red Cross, hotels, schools.
- The Association does have broad emergency powers.
- A board may require the evacuation of the property in the event that the local or state authority has declared a mandatory evacuation order. Owners who refuse to abide by that evacuation order do so at their own risk and without the possibility of pursing the association for loss of life or injury to themselves or their property.
- Have the CAM or Disaster Coordinator/Committee to video or photograph the community common areas and community as a whole.
- Association books and records should be stored in a safe and dry place – safe or storage unit. Pictures should be taken if the documents and then backed up or scanned in and electronically stored.
After the Storm:
- Attend to the injured and secure the community from acts of vandalism and looting.
- Remove all storm debris.
- DO NOT execute assignment of rights or benefits of any potential insurance claim without the advice of counsel or sign any contracts without counsels review.
- Drying In/Shoring Up the building structures in order to mitigate against further damage.
- “Drying Out” is the removal, where necessary, of wet carpet, wall board, cabinets, etc. when necessary to prevent the growth of mold.
- Notify the insurance broker and carrier of any and all damage immediately after the storm. If the insurance carrier is not able to promptly inspect and document the damage from the storm, it may elect to deny the claim.
Within hours of a causality such as a hurricane, communities are inundated by companies and individuals looking for work to provide disaster recovery services. Some of these folks may have come to the disaster area from other states and many may be unlicensed and uninsured. Those responsible for the Association must be aware that amongst the honest companies and individuals and several dishonest con men/companies. Please seek counsel prior to executing any contracts or documents and all reconstruction contracts need to be carefully reviewed and negotiated by your legal counsel to ensure that the association’s interests are protected.
Finally and most importantly, the association owes a fiduciary duty to the owners and their mortgagees to exercise reasonable care in the pursuit of their insurance claims and management of any insurance proceeds received.
Stay Safe and Dry!
Kistemaker Business Law Group