Preparing Your Property for Earthquakes
Depending on where your property is located, you may need to think about preparing for earthquakes. This may even figure into your depreciation report, as a major earthquake could cause damage that would show up on a report.
There are some measures that your strata corporation may need to take so as to not get caught unprepared in the event of an earthquake. Here are some suggestions to make sure that your property and its tenants are ready for this type of catastrophe.
Check Your Insurance Policies
The first thing to do is to make sure that your property is covered in the event of an earthquake. While a lot of property insurance has earthquake coverage included, some policies may require separate or additional coverage for catastrophic damage. Your location could also be a major factor in the cost of the coverage. Make sure you understand your corporation’s policy and what coverage it extends due to earthquake damage.
Most strata corporation reserve funds will not have the amount needed to cover earthquake deductibles. There are a few ways you could handle this. You could roll the charges into the fund when it is being established to add an additional amount for earthquake coverage. You could also hold a special levy should any seismic activity occur that would cover the costs. Either way, make sure that you have a plan for funding as this could not only affect what happens in a real emergency, but could also be a finding on a deprecation report.
Ensure Resident and Owner Coverage
Many residents of the property may not carry their own insurance policies. This is not a good idea, as many of their personal belongings will not be covered by the property’s insurance. It is a wise to encourage residents to carry individual polices to cover belongings that might be damaged in an earthquake.
Make Sure Residents are Prepared for the Worst
There are some things both the strata and individuals can do to minimize damage and help be prepared for an earthquake:
- Secure heavy furniture or items that are likely to fall to a wall stud. This applies to both common areas as well as individual residences.
- Have an evacuation plan that all residents are aware of
- Keep an emergency fund on hand
- Have an earthquake kit that has enough food and water for 72 hours. The strata may want to assist with the water in case residents are in need
- Have a common meeting point for residents to take role call to make sure everyone has gotten out safe and uninjured.
Being prepared for what can happen to the property is the job of the strata corporation. One thing that can help is having a deprecation report. Contact Reserve Advisors today for assistance with your paperwork.