The duties of a property management company are usually associated with the operations of a building making sure the snow is cleared from the parking lots, repairs are made to an air conditioner on the blink, the rent payments are collected and the utility bills are paid. However, one item that is critical but sometimes overlooked, or at least minimized, is disaster planning. Our world is considerably different today as compared to just a decade or two ago and unfortunately, disaster planning now has a much greater focus. This month, we are going to discuss several components that should be a part of any prudent plan.
About That Plan
While most buildings have a plan, many fall short in terms of their scope and comprehensiveness. When things go bad, they sometimes go really, really bad. Think about events such as Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 or Superstorm Sandy. Although these may have been once-in-a-lifetime occurrences, the fact that large scale disasters can and do happen underscores the importance of having a plan that considers what may initially seem extreme. Transportation, fuel and supplies may not be available for days or even weeks. Key members of the property management team may be injured or unavailable. Important physical components of the plan may be damaged or destroyed. The more comprehensive the plan is, the more effective it will be in managing any disaster, large or small.
Practice Makes Perfect
It’s one thing to have a plan, but quite another to actually execute it. Practicing various components should be an integral part of the ongoing preparation. These exercises are also opportunities to explore various “what ifs.” For example, practices can be a great time to cross-train the building and management staff to help promote continuity and ensure that critical plan elements are carried out. Also, be sure to include tenants in some of the practice exercises, as it’s important to integrate any disaster plans that these companies may have into the overall plan for the building.
Vendors are often an important partner for the disaster plan. However, these vendors may also be affected by a widespread occurrence, so it’s critical to understand any potential limitations and develop solid alternatives. Building and management teams must be able to cast a wide net when it comes to finding resources during and after a disaster. The best time to lay this groundwork is before you actually need it. Click here to download entire article.