Property Owners, Managers & Tenants: How to Weather the Hurricane Season

As the hurricane season approaches us, the message is clearly and simply “be prepared”. Last year’s hurricane season caused a record $202 billion in damages in the US and approx. $370 billion worth worldwide. Property Owners must realize that there is a 30-day waiting period from the date a flood policy is purchased before the policy takes effect. Also for consideration, commercial property insurance usually does not include flood or business interpretation coverage “loss of income”. Check the fine print, this is a tricky provision and one of which you need to thoroughly review the exclusions with your insurance provider.

Prepare, prepare and prepare! Heading into the hurricane season, hopefully before the storm is actually approaching, strategically review with your team “pre-event” protocols and “post event” coordination. Hurricanes can close public infrastructure such as roads and ports and disrupt supply chain which is problematic for retailers. Determine if your operations should have installed back-up electrical generators with auto power transfer switches and pre-order diesel fuel generators. Data preservation plans are often times overlooked as well, be sure to have a plan to secure and backup servers and files prior to. Other items to incorporate and include: maintain an employee/vendor call list and establish a hotline with a recorded message for updates. Property owners must keep and maintain up-to-date photo records of their real estate assets in order to establish a baseline for documenting pre-store conditions as well as to expedite timing when processing a claim.

In Florida, Hurricanes are inevitable. Preparation and Pre-Storm coordination is key to maximizing efficiencies and minimizing damages. As a Property Landlord, it is best to thoroughly review an emergency checklist with your team heading into hurricane season. Discuss processes and protocols with tenants at your shopping centers so that they can understand landlord/tenant responsibilities for storm preparations (i.e. sand bags, boarding windows, etc.). Other items to incorporate and include: maintain an employee/vendor call list and establish a hotline with a recorded message for updates. Property owners must keep and maintain up-to-date photo records of their real estate assets in order to establish a baseline for documenting pre-store conditions as well as to expedite timing when processing a claim.

Simply put you can only prepare as much as possible, but preparation is key to successfully weathering the storm and best protecting our real estate assets!

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