As property managers, we are the person who gets the call when there is water, smoke/fire and hazardous material damage or loss due to a disaster, calamity or accident. We need to know whom to call when these problems occur. It is a good idea to proactively contract with vendors who will help you mitigate the water and smoke damage and /or hazardous material like chemicals or blood. These emergencies cannot be handled by the regular maintenance and janitorial staff. It takes specialized knowledge and expertise to fix these problems. You may not have had to experience a monster storm, fire, flood or death in the course of your career (yet). Should you choose to make this a long-term career, you will. Whether you are an experienced manager, or a new manager; remain vigilant!
You may wish to schedule a meeting with a restoration service company like, ServPro or Service Master, to get on their list of communities to respond to should there be a widespread disaster as many people will be in line for service(s). Your calls will be returned first.
Roofing companies are also an important vendor to contract with. It is likely you already have a contract with a roofing company. Roof inspections, repair, and maintenance should be a routine line item in the community’s budget. An added benefit is when there is a problem, you will get their quick response because you are a contracted client, and they prefer repeat business they can anticipate.
Identify local, private “junk” or “trash” haulers, and put their contact information in your file. You will need them as well. Do your best to only work with business that are insured and licensed (if applicable).
One more thing; remember to back-up any electronic files to the cloud or an external drive. Your paper copies may be destroyed in a flood or fire and you can easily recreate the files should you plan ahead. We all pray that these tips are never going to be used, but life is unpredictable and we have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Endeavor to persevere.
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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