If you’re a coastal rental property owner, there’s nothing more important than being prepared for the hurricane season. It only takes one storm to damage or destroy your investment and put tenants in harm's way, so it is essential that you stay ahead of the storm by being knowledgeable and organized. In this blog post, we will discuss the proactive measures rental property owners should take to be ready when a hurricane arrives on their doorstep.
Understand your insurance coverage
When a hurricane is approaching, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your insurance will cover the damage. Take the time to review your policies and understand what is covered and what is not. Remember that certain natural disasters, such as flooding and high winds that come with hurricanes may require separate coverage. Don't hesitate to ask your insurance agent any questions, as they can provide valuable information and ensure that you have adequate protection in case of a hurricane. Also, having your insurance documents on hand before a storm hits is a good idea. That way, you’ll be able to hit the ground running should your property need storm repairs. Being informed can save you a lot of stress, time, and money in the long run.
Have a communication plan in place
Hurricanes can be devastating and unpredictable, so it’s crucial to have a communication plan in place before, during, and after the storm. Keeping your tenants informed and updated every step of the way can go a long way in ensuring their safety and minimizing damage to your property. This could include communicating evacuation plans, providing a list of emergency contacts and resources, and sharing updates on the storm’s progression. By proactively communicating with your tenants, you can help ease their worries and feel confident they’re prepared for whatever mother nature throws their way.
Create a clear emergency plan
Hurricanes are one of the most dangerous kinds of natural disasters that can cause significant damage to both people and property. Creating an emergency plan allows you to prepare for various scenarios during a hurricane, such as power outages, extreme winds, or flooding. Your emergency plan should include important phone numbers to contact the local authorities, evacuation routes, important resources, and a list of what essential supplies are on hand. In addition, providing your tenants with clear instructions and guidelines will make them feel more secure during a hurricane and show that you care about their safety. Remember, preparation is key to keeping everyone safe during a hurricane, so start creating your emergency plan today.
Secure outdoor items
When a storm is approaching, it's important to secure your rental property to mitigate damage. One way to ensure all necessary precautions are taken is to create a checklist of outdoor items that need to be secured before the storm hits. This can include patio furniture, grills, and gardening equipment. Having a list lets you feel confident that everything is secured and that you're prepared for the storm. Remember, taking these precautions can minimize damage to your rental property and ensure the safety of your tenants and neighbors.
Discuss evacuation plans with tenants
It's important to discuss evacuation plans with your tenants in case they do not want to stay in the rental property during a storm. Make sure to communicate clear instructions and a list of local, state, and federal resources. Additionally, if you live in the area, it's a good idea to share your own evacuation plans with your tenants so they can better understand the severity of the situation and the importance of following evacuation orders. Open and honest communication is key during these times to ensure everyone stays safe.
Prepare for power outages
Power outages often occur during hurricanes, leaving you without electricity for an extended period of time. To prepare for the unforeseen, remind your tenants to stock up on essential items such as flashlights, batteries, water, nonperishable foods, and medications. These items will help you stay safe and comfortable during a power outage. Not only can power outages be inconvenient, but they can also be dangerous. By preparing in advance, you can have peace of mind knowing you're ready for whatever comes your way.
Work with a professional property manager
When a hurricane is coming, you’ve got your own home and family to worry about. Working with a professional property management company can help alleviate your worries. Experienced property managers can ensure you have the right insurance policies in place (and direct you to your insurance agent if you don’t), communicate with tenants, keep track of those who are evacuating, check your property, schedule necessary repairs, and more. There’s no need to go it alone with the professionals on your side!
Preparing for hurricane season can be daunting, yet it is essential for those who own rental properties along the coast. If approached properly, these proactive steps can ensure that your tenants and their possessions remain safe and secure. From understanding your insurance coverage to creating communication plans and emergency checklists, every action taken provides an additional layer of protection against a potential disaster. Furthermore, working with a professional property manager can ensure you’ve crossed all your Ts and dotted all your Is. Remember that planning ahead is the best way to protect your tenants’ well-being and your property from costly damage or destruction.
As a leading property management firm in the Cape Fear region, Sweyer Property Management recommends that property owners strongly consider working with a trusted, experienced property management company. Whether it pertains to the eviction process or another area of handling your investment properties, we want to ensure property owners and investors understand the relationship they are entering into when choosing to work with a property management firm.
If you have investment properties and do not use a professional management company, we hope you consider doing so. The experts at Sweyer Property Management will be happy to provide you with a free rental analysis or, if you prefer, give us a call at 910-239-1338.
Sweyer Property Management is a full-service professional property management company specializing in all aspects of rental management. If you're an investor or property owner looking to learn more about our services and what a professional property manager can do for you, reach out to us today at 910.256.3031 or via our website. Sweyer Property Management has exhibited continuous growth throughout the Wilmington, Leland, and Hampstead areas while maintaining an excellent Google+ rating for customer service.