Preparing for an Emergency
One part of being a responsible strata corporation is being prepared for an emergency. Any number of emergencies could threaten a strata corporation’s property, including:
- Power Outages
- Storm Damage
Having a plan on how your strata is going to respond should an emergency occur is the key to being able to effectively respond and recover from that emergency. Here are some things your strata should consider when deciding what actions they should take during an emergency.
Making a plan of what to do when an emergency occurs is the first step to being able to deal with one should it happen. A good starting place is to create a handbook or manual for the strata corporation. The manual should include all of the strata’s policies for dealing with emergency situations. The manual should cover evacuation procedures, flood responses, emergency contacts and communication chains.
Once the manual is created, it should be reviewed annually to make sure that the information in the manual remains current. Having an out of date emergency response manual could make a bad situation worse, as lines of communication take longer to be established than if the data was kept up to date.
A preparation plan should also include roles and responsibilities for the strata corporation in the case of an emergency. If individuals know what they are responsible for, they are able to smoothly respond and make sure that their area of responsibility is taken care of.
Creating evacuation diagrams for residents and posting them on the property are another good way to prepare for emergencies. This includes testing and maintaining firefighting equipment like fire extinguishers. Holding classes for residents on proper use of emergency equipment is also a good way to prepare for an emergency.
When an emergency happens, the response should be planned out in the strata’s preparation plan. Executing the plan quickly when the emergency occurs will be assured if drills are run by the strata so everyone knows their role.
Designating meeting spots for residents to gather when an emergency occurs can help to organize them so emergency response teams can access them quickly. They should also be prepared on what, if anything, to say to media that shows up to the scene of an emergency.
Of course, the best way to respond to an emergency is to prevent it from happening in the first place. A strata can make sure that by maintaining the property well, certain emergencies can be avoided altogether.
One good way to know where a property’s vulnerabilities are is by having a depreciation report done. Reserve Advisors are experts on preparing and presenting strata corporations with depreciation reports. For any questions or to have a report done for your property, contact us today!