Severe Weather Preparedness Tips for Residential Communities

Nov 30, 2022

As a property manager, your job is to actively keep your communities safe and running smoothly. A major part of this responsibility involves consistent and thorough communication with your tenants. Severe weather preparedness is vital to any property manager’s toolkit; the more detailed it is, the more you establish trust with your tenants.

Inclement weather — from anticipated storms or heavy wind due to national disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes — can cause significant damage to your community. Here are some of our top tips to help you and your residents prepare for severe weather of any kind.

Stay on Top of Weather Services and Relay Appropriate Warnings

If severe weather is threatening your community, ensure you know what your property needs and how your residents can prepare for it. If a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado is possible, there are certain warnings and alerts to look out for.

When inclement weather looms, keep up with weather services and updates in your area. Checking the weather should be a regular habit for your property management team. If any vital warnings need to be shared — like turning on faucets to prevent frozen pipes before a winter storm or protecting windows from hurricane-strength winds — you should send those warnings to your residents via text, automated call, or email. Don’t assume your residents know this information already.

Most property management CRMs are equipped with features to quickly communicate with your residents. For example, with BuildingLink’s Emergency Broadcast System, communicating vital weather information to your residents can be done with just a click on an application. As a result, you can deliver time-sensitive texts and other mass communications to specific locations or resident types as needed.

Offer Specific Tips for Your Community's Local Area

Though different types of severe weather bring unique challenges and preparations, there’s always a list of everyday tips which every resident should follow.

Create a preventative maintenance checklist with tips to recommend each resident, like securing items on balconies and patios, and share that list with residents upon move in. Make it available to them at any time since you never know when someone might need it. These weather preparedness tips can be shared in person with a printed copy, or through your digital communications system or resident app, like BuildingLink’s communication portal.

Encourage Residents to Submit Maintenance Tickets in Advance

If your residents have high priority maintenance needs — broken toilets, leaks in the ceiling, and so on — encourage them to correct these issues in advance, before severe weather hits.

Doing so can help get those issues fixed before disaster occurs, which prevents residents from having to wait an indefinite amount of time with a frustrating issue — or from the severe weather making the issue worse.

To streamline this process, it’s best to have one centralized location for all maintenance requests. This helps your maintenance staff get to any requests in time. For a system that provides a comprehensive solution to your property’s maintenance needs, try BuildingLink to help your property’s maintenance and management teams track resident requests, their status, and who they’re assigned to. You can also schedule recurring tasks for regular maintenance needs via integrated applications such as BuildingLink, allowing your team to get ahead of requests.

Send Residents Updated Property Maps

Most residents don’t have property maps memorized, and staff preparing for inclement weather may miss something without a detailed property map. Posting up-to-date directives around the property and sending them to each resident will ensure everyone has access to fire exits, building exits and entrances, fire extinguishers, evacuation routes, and other important features.

Make it Possible for Residents to Easily Submit Incident Reports

No matter how much you and your residents prepare for inclement weather, incidents are bound to happen. Just like maintenance reports are submitted when there’s an issue, incident reports should be submitted, too.

If this involves a different process, be sure to share instructions with your residents on how to submit an incident report. Common incidents from inclement weather may include power outages, water damage, window damage, etc. By having a system to report these to, your team can remain active and quickly assess the situation and call the right vendors to assist.

Remind Residents to Keep Pets Safe

For a pet-friendly property, offer a list of tips and solutions to keep pets safe and secure during severe conditions.

A lot of pet-specific information isn’t necessarily common knowledge; for example, pavement and concrete are  unsafe for the pads on pets’ feet during a severe heat wave. Share tips on how to store pet food, ways to calm pets during a storm, what pet supplies to stock up on, and more. If you use BuildingLink, you can quickly and easily create custom email groups for notifications within our full Pet Registry — pet owners across your properties can be notified when severe conditions are imminent and how to protect their pets.

When disasters strike, you need technology you can rely on.

Communication is key in instances such as these, you need to keep the line of communication open between you and your residents to guarantee safety. BuildingLink is a comprehensive building communications software that protects its residents in many ways — national disasters being one of them. Learn more about BuildingLink’s vast solutions today.

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