What Should You Do When There’s A Natural Disaster – Landlords’ Guide

Property Management Blog

Natural disasters are something we have no control over; however, on an individual level, we can take some precautionary measures to keep ourself and our family safe in the event of a natural disaster. As a landlord, the responsibility increases significantly as you now have your tenants to worry about along with your family.

Here are some steps that landlords can take in the face of a disaster that will help them limit the damage and also keep their property as well as the tenants safe. These steps will also aid them with getting back on their feet after the disaster has passed.

Getting proper education as well as being appropriately prepared is two things that will aid you in keeping safe.

Natural Disasters

There are three kinds of natural disasters:

  • Meteorological (Weather-Related)
  • Geological (From The Earth)
  • Hydrological (Water-Related)

Meteorological Disasters:

These include tornadoes, droughts, blizzards, as well as wildfires. These are severe disasters that have impacted significant populations in the U.S in the past years. You will be shocked to know that around 20 states make up Tornado Alley. This means that these are the states where tornadoes are a common occurrence. Dry and drought-stricken areas of the West are prone to wildfires that can go on for months at end.

Geological Disasters:

These disasters include landslides, earthquakes, sinkholes, as well as volcanic eruptions. The Western United States is more prone to these kinds of natural disasters. Volcanic eruptions happen around the regions of Alaska, Hawaii as well as the Pacific Northwest. Moreover, earthquakes are common in the West Coast of the USA. In the state of Florida, sinkholes are more common than any other kind of disasters.

Hydrological Disasters:

Hurricanes, tsunamis, and floods are all types of Hydrological Disasters. These are a common occurrence near the river banks as well as coastlines.

Following are the precautionary measures you can take when you are warned about the natural disasters.

  • Stays informed and keep getting regular updates
  • Have a survival kit handy with water, dry food, as well as a flashlight
  • Have an effective emergency plan and make sure your family, friends and tenants have one as well

If you are living in a region that is prone to natural disasters, you will need to be efficient as well as proactive about the information. Have proper knowledge as well as seek regular updates.

Also, keep survival kits and be responsible about your surroundings. Also, keep all your essential documents and cash for a rainy day in a fire and waterproof safe.

Natural Disaster And Landlords Preparation:

Being Proactive:

Many proactive measures can be taken to make sure the tenant, landlord, as well as the property, are safe in the face of the disaster.

Natural Disaster Clauses in the lease agreement:

Many ignorant landlords skip this clause altogether in the agreement. However, it’s very important to have a natural disaster clause. This is a proactive measure that will let clear the course of action for both the tenant as well as the landlord before and after natural disasters. Communication like this will also make the bond of the landlord with his tenant stronger.

Strict Safety Guidelines:

As a landlord, you are in the position of imposing rules better than anyone else. So make sure you have proper and comprehensible guidelines for your tenants to follow.

Renters Insurance:

Renter’s insurance will cover property, personal injury, as well as relocation support in the case of housing damage due to natural disaster. This is why every landlord should ask their tenants to get one.

Emergency Plan & Kit:

Again, being a landlord, you are in the ideal position to demand that your tenants keep emergency kits handy. An efficient emergency plan doesn’t only keep you safe from natural disasters but also keeps you safe from break-ins as well as burglaries.

Order precautionary measures to follow are:

  • Property cataloguing by taking photographs
  • Fireproof home safe to keep valuables safe
  • Evacuation orders and guidelines
  • Get notified regularly about community’s warning system
  • Learn your closest evacuation routes

Details that you need to form your Tenants:

In case of an emergency situation or a disaster looming close, here is some important information that both the landlord and the tenants should exchange.

  • Get the tenant’s destination as well as an alternate contact in case of an evacuation
  • If you have a multi-unit apartment make sure you know the count of all inhabitants, their pets as well as their guests that are living when them
  • Assess the property with the permission of tenants for any structural damage that can get worse when the natural disaster struck
  • Make sure all the tenants know the evacuation points
  • Let your tenants know your contact information as well as the backup ones

Post-Disaster Recovery tips For Landlords:

There is always a damage assessment after the disaster has passed. As Landlords, you are in a good position to speed-up recovery, if only you know what to do and how to do. You will also have your tenants looking up to you. Here’s how you do it:

The first thing to do is to assess your rental property. Do not enter the property before you have checked out the back, front and all sides of the property. Once that is down your next check will be the inside of the building. Check for cracks in the roof, foundation, as well as the chimney. Moreover, check for downed or lose power lines as well as gas leaks.

You will also need to check for standing water inside as well as damaged pipelines. While doing the assessment, you make sure that all power is cut out and your gas switches are off. It’s a good idea to take a proper and clear picture of the damage as it will be used as proofs for insurance companies.

These are the immediate steps that you need to take after the disaster has passed. Let the authorities inspect the property before putting it out for rent again.

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty.

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