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How Landlords Can “Prepare” for Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are unpredictable and usually unstoppable. As the term says, they are a force of nature that will erupt sometimes abruptly and cause considerable devastation and destruction. While some parts of the world live in fear of that odd earthquake or tornado that might strike them out of the blue, in other places, natural disaster are the norm, an occurrence that is expected to come around every once in a while.

For these places and those people that live in such places, natural disasters are a very solid threat.

It is the prerogative of every landlord or potential landlord to take the necessary steps to counter the effects of a natural disaster. It is imperative that one be prepared for the possible occurrence of one form of natural disaster or another.

If one is curious as to how landlords can prepare for natural disasters, the following important points are worth taking into account:

—First and foremost, landlords needs to be properly informed, both prior to a disaster and after. It is imperative that a potential landlord investigate the exact state of the land he has chosen to invest his money in, taking the time to determine what sorts of natural disasters the area is prone to, how many times in a given period of time the location has been struck by a given disaster, basically a thorough analysis of how high the chances are that the area will fall prey to a disaster. The information gathered will determine the course of action one takes.

—Landlords need to ensure that they keep in communication with their tenants, before a disaster hits in order to take the necessary steps to mitigate it while considering both yours and their concerns as well as after the disaster hits, so that one can better understand the impact of a disaster through the information of those tenants experiencing it. This can be a powerful especially for a landlord with multiple properties who requires information but is incapable of traveling to all the properties.

–A landlord should be sure to inspect all their properties and carry out all important repairs to the property that might be impacted by the disaster or which might exacerbate its effects. It would also be prudent to carry out thorough maintenance following tight schedules, which once more requires efficient communication with your tenants; only they, the persons living in the property can best inform a landlord on the faults of a structure, taking their concerns into account is imperative. Basically if you must weather a natural disaster, ensure that you property is in the best shape to take the hit.

—if you as a landlord do not have any emergency plans in place, then create some, or have an expert draw up a thorough detailing of emergency plans in case of a disaster. There are firms which exist to do such work for landlords and their tenants. And if such pans do exist, review them just in case, to ensure they are still up to date for the disaster in play; but as important as emergency plans are, they might not be as effective as you hope, not unless you put them into practice via regularly drills, ensuring that all employees and tenants are properly aware of the procedure and are prepared to take necessary action when the time comes. You might consider including the tenants in the drawing up of these emergency plans as it is their lives on the line.

—make sure that all emergency equipment that will be necessary to weather a natural disaster is available and in quality shape. By taking into account that a storm or a hurricane might last longer than predicted, it would help if your generators didn’t run out of fuel minutes after the disaster struck. Be it fuel, first aid kits, water, buckets; ensure to keep all necessary equipment on hand, in perfect shape and properly maintained. They should also be easily accessible your tenants during emergencies. Once again it is imperative that a line of communication is open between landlord and tenant.

To ensure that one is properly equipped for a disaster, a landlord needs to prepare a checklist, one that they would keep updating with time and ensure that all items on the checklist are met. Rules and regulations exist that landlords must follow with regards to emergency preparations that one should ensure to follow just to be on the legal safe side. One would also be wise to make sure that they take proper measures with regards to insurance, lest the effects of a natural disaster strike harder than they should have.