There’s a Storm A’Coming…. Pt.2

In our last
blog article, we addressed preparing for storm season. This month, we have
provided a “to do” checklist once you know that you are in the path of a storm.
As always, prior planning is essential for a successful storm operation. Keep a
detailed emergency closing plan up to date and on hand for all involved
personnel that includes this list. Ensure the supplies that will be needed after the storm are on hand before the storm. Supplies will
be hard to come by after the fact. Be safe and be prepared!
Securing and Closing Down the Common
Areas
:
  • Remove all debris
    from property that could cause damage.
  • Know what your
    Rubbish removal company’s policy is on debris removal. Secure all trash
    receptacles and tie down dumpster lids with rope.
  • Secure all
    outdoor signs and lighting.
  • Make sure that
    all exhaust fans, wind turbines and A/C units on the roof are securely fastened
    or strapped down to the roof deck.
  • Remove all flags,
    satellite dishes and antennas from roof and balconies.
  • Remove or secure
    all notice signs on property.
  • Make sure you
    have gas for small blowers, portable generators and any other gas powered
    tools.

 Pool
and Spa:
  • Turn off all
    power to the pool equipment, turn off the pump at breaker panel.
  • Remove the pool
    pump motor and store it in doors in a dry place, or wrap motor in a plastic
    material, such as a garbage bag and secure it tightly with tape.
  • Lower water level
    by 2′, add additional chlorine to avoid contamination, DO NOT place any pool
    furniture or other items in the pool. Cover the pump and motor, if exposed.
  • Remove all pool
    furniture and trash receptacle.
  • Shock pool water.

 Generator:
  • If your generator
    runs on fuel, DO NOT fill the fuel tank until right before the storm. (The fuel
    can grow stale and is unsafe in a hot garage.) If the generator runs on
    battery, make sure the batteries are charged. If using a portable generator,
    keep the generator dry.

 Cooling
Towers:
  • Turn off the all
    power to the cooling tower and pump motors by turning off all breakers on panel
    to the circulating pumps.
  • Add some
    suggested chemicals as sitting water can get stale.

 Elevator:
  • The default stop
    for your elevators should be a middle floor to avoid flooding on the ground
    floor and water intrusion from roof on top floors. The doors of the elevator
    should remain closed.
  • Pull the
    disconnect switch in the machine room in the off position before the power
    fails.
  • Close any vents
    or opening at the top of the hoist way to prevent water intrusion into the
    elevator shaft.
  • Secure the door
    to the elevator room.

 Domestic
Water Pumps
:
  • Turn power off to
    the pumps to avoid burning out the pumps.

Canopy: Remove and store with the instructions on
re-installation. (Take a photo)
Clubhouse/Recreation
Building:
  • Unplug all major
    appliances as not to overload the circuits when everything is turned back on.
  • Turn off all
    breakers to equipment and A/C.
  • Some managers
    prefer to leave the security camera system energized to record the event.  

Tennis
Courts or Volleyball Courts:
  • Remove nets,
    windscreens and any seating from the area.
  • Power down the
    lights.

 Playgrounds:
  • Remove any
    equipment that is not permanent and that may be subject to becoming a
    projectile in high winds.

 Gates
and Arms:
  • Remove all gate
    arms.
  • Place all swing
    gates in the open position and secure with stakes and ties to hold in place.
  • Turn off power.
  • Secure the
    gatehouse
 Fountains:
  • Shut off power to
    fountains, including drinking fountains.

 Irrigation/Sprinklers:
  • Turn off power to
    irrigation systems.
  • Lift Stations:
    If your property has a lift station it should be serviced prior to storm season
    to avoid sewage overflow. Schedule this service early.
  • Storm Drains:
    Have the property storm drain systems inspected and if needed cleaned. This
    will help, especially in flood prone areas.

 Mechanical
Preparations:
  • Take photographs
    of all mechanical equipment. (A/C units, pumps, heaters, alarm system,
    generator, etc.)
  • Prepare an
    equipment location list with all pertinent information pertaining to that piece
    of equipment. List should include location of all shut off valves, main water
    shut off, electrical main circuits, gas or fuel oil lines and cut offs, sewer
    lines and clean-outs, Location of all emergency equipment.
  • Unlock all
    electrical room doors for FPL or Fire Department.
  • Unplug all
    vending machines
  • Fill common area
    sinks with water.

 Tools
that will be needed after the storm:
  • Blowers
  • Large and small
    garbage bags
  • Wet/Dry Shop-Vac
  • Towels
  • Rakes and shovels
  • Ax
  • Hard hat and
    goggles Protective Eyewear and gloves
  • Water Fans and
    Dehumidifiers
  • Utility knife,
    Crescent Wrench for turning on valves
  • Coil of 1/2 inch
    rope, Screwdriver, pliers and hammer
  • Yellow Caution
    Tape
  • Several extension
    cords 50′ and 100’ (preferably orange in color)
  • Chainsaw,
    circular and hand saw
  • Staple gun
  • Nails, screws,
    bolts and washers.
  • Squeegees and
    mops
  • Tarps (various
    sizes)
  • Waterproof duct
    tape

Utility Tips:
In the event of a disaster you may be
instructed to shut off the utilities service. Before a disaster, contact your
local utility companies to learn how to safely cut off your natural gas, water
and electricity. Do not turn the power back on until a qualified professional
has inspected all equipment.
Securing
the Office:
  • Back-up to the
    hard drive
  • Raise or remove
    all items on the floor to a higher area, in case of flooding
  • Cover all
    equipment with plastic
  • Unplug all
    electrical equipment
  • Record a special
    voice mail message with a contact name and phone number for residents who may
    call in. If you have call forwarding on your office phone, you may want to
    utilize that feature.
  • Put up all
    necessary signage (contact information, no utility services in building,
    elevator will not be working, amenities (pool and spa) are closed.
  • Gather all
    important paperwork to be removed from office: §
    Board of Directors List § Association Documents §
    List of Board of Directors Emergency powers §
    Vendor List § Resident Roster: Names, address, all phone numbers
    and hopefully e-mail addresses. §

 Insurance:
  • Your insurance
    binder with your policies, all policy numbers, the Association agent’s name and
    special contact phone numbers, in case of a storm. How to submit or report
    damage/claim to the insurance company.

§      List of Bank Accounts with account numbers
§      Investment Certificates
§      Personnel Files
§      Latest Accounting financials
§      The Association Federal I. D. Number
§      Corporate Seal
§      Blue prints, site plan
§      Contract Book
§      Minute Book
Board
Responsibilities:
  • At least one
    Board member should have access to cash should banks and ATM be down. Board
    should decide how they take care of payroll should a storm hit and checks
    cannot be cut. (This should be in an Administrative Policy Resolution). At
    least one Board of Director should be in possession of 2 signed checks for
    emergency use only. If possible pay any time-sensitive bills to avoid any late
    fees. If you are planning or have a capital improvement project in process, be
    sure that your contract has language that address, assembling and disassembling
    scaffolding staging. Give the “Okay” to lock down the building and
    secure the premises.

Employees:
  • Prepare an
    updated list of all employees with phone numbers, emergency contact and
    addresses. Plan to use a buddy system for employees to contact each other for
    updates on when to return to the property. If a mandatory evacuation is called,
    ALL personnel should be sent
    home so that they can prepare their homes and attend to their families. If
    there is no mandatory evacuation called, then all employees will be required to
    leave when sustained winds reach 45 miles per hour.