Disasters, whether manmade or natural, often occur without any warning, and can happen at any time, day or night. When a disaster does occur, sometimes the damage to the community is minimal, and other times it can be devastating. Regardless, the HOA board should be as prepared as they can be for any disaster that could possibly happen in their community. Preparation and quick action on the part of the board can help a community recover from a disaster faster, so residents can swiftly get back to their normal daily lives.
Having a Disaster Plan
Create a disaster plan starts with knowing what will be expected of the HOA board following a disaster. Consider the following points when creating a disaster plan:
- Who will residents contact after a disaster has occurred?
- What will each board member’s role be following a disaster?
- Will the HOA manager be on site?
- What resources (if any) are currently available to assist with disaster response and recovery?
- Will any community rules or regulations be affected? How will board members approach this?
Most HOA board members have little to no experience in managing disaster or emergency responses, so it’s important to bring in an expert to help with creating a disaster plan. The board may be able to take advantage of resources within their community, such as residents who are experts in this area. There are a number of emergency management consulting firms that board members can reach out to as well, and it may be worth the investment to hire one.
What Should a Disaster Plan Include?
An HOA’s disaster plan should not be overly complicated, but it does need to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each board member in a disaster situation. The disaster plan should cover two main points; response during a disaster and a restoration plan for disaster aftermath.
- Disaster Response: In the event of a disaster, emergency personnel will most likely be on scene attending to injuries and other emergency situations. However, some residents may need short-term shelter, food, water or other supplies. The board will need to determine what kind of resources they can provide to residents who are temporarily displaced.
- Restoration: Restoring affected areas is crucial to bringing the community back to normal as quickly as possible. The board of directors can work with their insurance company to get a better understanding of their insurance coverage and how it will be applied in different emergency situations. With just a little research and careful planning, the board can ensure they will be able to act quickly and effectively after any disaster, reducing confusion and restoring normalcy to their community.
About Scott Litman Insurance Agency
At Scott Litman Insurance Agency, we are dedicated to protecting HOA’s like yours. We have a unique understanding of the industry and the common risk exposures that you face in your daily operations. In fact, we find that 90% of the policies we review are missing coverages that violate the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R), exposing the board, HOA and management to lawsuits– which is why our comprehensive policies are tailored to meet your specific needs at competitive prices. For more information about our products, contact our experts today at (818) 879-5980 ext. 201, or fill out our online form.