DSCA member condo associations were asked to provide suggestions on lessons learned from the September 10, 2017 Hurricane Irma storm from both a preparation and recovery process. As the member condos range in size and location, some of the comments are unique to those condos and may not be applicable to other condos. Click this link DSCA LessonsLearned IRMA-20171003 to download the list of suggested measures condos can take to prepare for a storm or view below.

 

Hurricane Irma:  Lessons Learned* September 2017

 

Standard measures

  1. Ensure homeowners remove everything from their balconies. Snow Birds should remove everything before departing.
  2. Evacuate when advised to do so.
  3. Refuel cars well in advance.
  4. Have cash available.
  5. Maintain and review comprehensive hurricane plan.

 

Recommendations

  1. Whenever a Tropical Storm warning is issued, maintenance manager should verify and document that all auxilliary power fuel tanks are at full capacity.
  2. Annually, on 1 June, inspect all generators and pumps and top off fuel tanks; confirm agreements with critical response vendors (e.g. elevators, water remediation, tree/landscape, etc.)
  3. Board of Directors review and approve hurricane policy at May Director’s meeting. Distribute update to residents in June.
  4. In the event of loss of communications, use paper signs on elevators and where ever else appropriate.
  5. Communicate regularly with family members not in Florida.
  6. Place towels at windows and doors to prevent water intrusion.
  7. Stress importance of not opening windows and sliders during the storm, even if A/C is off.
  8. Designate floor Captains in your hurricane plan.
  9. Open all garage gate doors during high winds and secure resident exits.
  10. Establish agreement with staff for hurricane operations including Who/Roles/Compensation. Identify resident volunteers to supplement staff.
  11. Create specific rules for guest parking and pets. Strong instructions to guests and family members with pets on when they should vacate the premises after the storm.
  12. Establish a Command Center on/near the ground floor.
  13. Establish a list of units with pets and residents with limited mobility/ cognitive impairment. In addition, make a list of occupied units for first responders.
  14. Some buildings are in two Evacuation Zones. (Note that some members may elect to stay rather than leave.)
  15. Consider sand bagging street level doors that provide access to fire command rooms and others like that.
  16. Consider identifying “Safe Rooms. “ If doctors or RNs are residents, integrate them into the “Remain Plan”.
  17. In hurricane prep guides, outline all possible scenarios: Flood, loss of power, no first responders, no toilets.
  18. Building managers: Contact Todd Kerkering (as required), Sarasota EOC to ensure rapid updates to the Associations via local media.  In addition, note that Sarasota and Manatee Counties may have different curfews that may affect staff ability to return to work.
  19. Create Concierge call list that includes all residents. Concierge will eliminate absentees and start calling others with a pre-written script.  Eventually, the concierge will have a list of all residents remaining.

 

Questions

  1. Should elevators be parked (circuit breakers pulled) or allowed to run an emergency power?
  2. If you have a “no visitor pet policy”, should that be waived or kept in affect? Do you incur a liability with animals in your building contrary to policy?
  3. What provisions should be made to account for visitors using either vacant units made available by absent owners or simply seeking refuge with residents?
  4. If building maintenance personnel are absent, who should be responsible for system malfunctions and system management?
  5. If a mandatory evacuation is in affect, what is the Associations liability with regard to those that elect to remain?

 

*  This information was provided by eight of our member condominia