Commercial Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Leasing & Management

Ask the Expert: What Steps Should Multifamily Owners Take to Prepare for a Hurricane?

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Hurricane Season has already begun to impact the southeastern United States, and with an active storm season expected to continue, it is critical for multifamily owners and their tenants to stay proactive with storm preparation. The National Hurricane Center began issuing tropical weather outlooks two weeks earlier than previous years, beginning their analysis on the storm season’s landscape on May 15, as opposed to June 1, as an indicator that an above-average tropical weather forecast is in store this season. The latest storm to have an impact on the market, Hurricane Elsa, is on record as the earliest fifth named storm in modern history. As the storm gained enough strength to bring Hurricane force conditions to the Gulf Coast of Florida, residents and property owners alike had limited time to brace for impact and potential damage from the storm. 

Franklin Street’s full-service platform fosters the collaboration between our investment sales, insurance services, and property management business lines, allowing us to take a proactive approach for our clients during Hurricane Season. Our multifamily investment sales team regularly consults with our insurance and property management teams to identify ways to prepare and protect properties, tenants, staff and transactions on behalf of our clients. With August and September historically displaying the highest levels of tropical activity, here are steps all multifamily owners and managers should take to protect the value of their assets and avoid risk when a storm is imminent: 

  • Secure the perimeter: trim and landscaping to prevent damage from potential debris. 
  • Communicate effectively with residents and carefully evaluate a recovery plan to restore normal living conditions. 
  • Stow and stabilize all outdoor furniture and recreational commons in potentially hazardous areas of the property. 
  • Secure all points of entry, including elevators, electronic garage doors and high-traffic stairwells. 
  • Provide any resources available to residents to protect ground-level units and waterfront units, including sandbags, plywood and similar materials to prevent flooding, and wind damage. 
  • Utilizing the latest technology to keep tenants informed on building procedures and safety protocols before and after the storm. 
  • Ensure that any available generator is fully operating so that essential systems, such as alarms and cameras, can remain functional. 
  • Instruct management / property staff to ensure tenant’s outdoor possessions (outdoor tables, chairs, etc.) are securely stowed away. 

Avery Jordan, Senior Associate, Multifamily Investment Sales

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