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How Climate Change is Affecting Property Management

Property Management and Climate Change
by Lisa Eifert on June 3rd, 2016

If you think that climate change has nothing to do with property management, think back to the last time you experienced a weather event at your managed properties. Hurricanes, blizzards, droughts, deep freezes, and other weather events can affect the property and units. To be prepared, property managers must anticipate how climate change will impact their buildings and plan for protection.

The Real Effects of Climate Change

While the debate on climate change continues, everyone can agree severe weather can cause real, lasting damage to property assets. Imagine the effects of a flooded basement where renters have stored their things, or where your common laundry facilities are located. Or consider how a wildfire brought on by drought and dry weather could ruin your landscape and your apartment in a worst-case scenario.

The best way to protect your property is to understand the risks you face and be prepared. Consider the different weather events that could impact you, and then plan ahead. Do a test run of your disaster recovery strategy to make sure everything works.

If you’re nervous about flooding, for example, you may relocate expensive equipment to higher ground or perform preventative maintenance. By safeguarding gutters and downspouts, cleaning drains regularly, patching cracks in the foundation, and installing a sump pump, you can mitigate water damage. For added insurance, invest in a wet vac or set up a priority arrangement with a local water damage company.  Since flooding may disrupt electrical systems, install a generator.

With many disasters, time is of the essence. It’s difficult to prepare for a hurricane with a day’s notice. Yet if you have an overstock of supplies, safety plans in place, and arrangements with first responders, you’ve got less work to do when danger strikes.

Communicating With Property Owners About Disasters

Managers must also think about communication systems. Property owners may become anxious when a weather event occurs near their buildings. Power outages may make it difficult for managers and owners to remain in touch during the disaster. Going into each different season, review the weather events that may arise and have open discussions with property owners regarding how you are prepared to respond.

When owners know in advance, they’ll feel less anxiety. Owners may also consent to costly disaster recovery measures, giving you the green light to clean up the disaster without first checking in.

2015 saw a rash of extreme weather events in all regions of the U.S. As the earth continues to warm, these events shall only become more frequent. Take the time to prepare now and reduce uncertainty and property damage when something goes wrong. Increase tenant satisfaction, owner satisfaction, and your peace of mind through emergency preparedness for climate change.

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