This blog post provides tips when encountering unexpected, severe weather for those responsible for a building and its occupants. It includes steps from before to after the weather hits.
Severe weathy can occur when you least expect it. This is part of what makes it so scary, especially for someone responsible for the damages caused to their building and the people inside of it. While we can’t stop bad weather from coming, we can take certain measures to alleviate damages and potential damages. Here are some tips for each portion of the process from before to after the severe weather occurs.
Know What Weather Terms to Look Out For
Know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning? Make sure to familiarize yourself with all terms weather forecasters use so that you know the proper measures to take in order to prepare.
Always pay attention to your local weather so that if dangerous conditions loom ahead, you can prepare accordingly in order to protect your building and its occupants. Examples of severe weather that may affect your building include heavy rain, ice and/or snowstorms, thunderstorms with lightning, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding.
Have Safe Spots
Make sure to have a storm shelter location that is clearly marked. Employees are able to direct occupants to it should the need arise.
Provide Safety Measures
Keep fire extinguishers available and make sure your employees know how to use them. Have an Emergency Supply Kit on hand.
Keep a television and/or tuned to a weather station for warnings, alerts and announcements about the weather event in your area.
Observe Your Surroundings
Pay attention to the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing winds. Count the number of seconds that pass between a flash of lightning and the crack of thunder that follows it, then divide that number by five in order to see how close you are to the storm. The resulting number will tell you how many miles away it is.
Notify Those Involved
Make sure that everyone on your property is aware of the possibility of severe weather conditions before leaving the building. If weather warnings are advising to seek shelter, direct them to yours.
Look around the inside and outside of your building, parking garage and surrounding areas for damages caused from the severe weather event. These can include damaged/destroyed buildings, closed roads, downed wires, massive tree damage and sudden flooding.
Take photographs of severe damage that will require an insurance claim and/or outside contractor repairs.
Clean up any debris as soon as possible and contact the proper resources right away for any repairs that may need to be done. Make sure all areas are clean and safe for building occupants before giving the all clear.
Customer Service Tip: Often, storms leave behind damage that may not be life threatening but are still inconvenient, such as cracked windshields and/or hail damage to vehicles. Help tenants take care of these issues by offering to have an “onsite repair” event at your property and arrange to have windshield and dent repair companies come out for a day to repair vehicles on site, allowing them to take care of their vehicles without taking extra time out of their day.
NOTE: We cover the topic of severe weather in our latest guide, which acts as a part one of two-series encyclopedia on property management topics. For more tips on subjects relevant to your industry, download our free guide: “The ABC’s of Property Management pt. 1.”