Northeast Property Owners Prepare for Hurricane Sandy
By Ken Kmet
Hurricane Sandy is aiming straight for a rare collision with the Northeast, and even though most Northeast homes and properties are not fitted for hurricane protection, there’s still time to prepare.
So what are the priorities?
First, identify which hazard would affect you most — rising water (flood), wind or even wet snow. Your property location and type should make this easy. High-rise residents should take cover because wind speeds increase every few floors.
Check for trees that overhang roofs, and if they are weak, old or show signs of age, have them trimmed.
Walk your home’s exterior and secure or store anything that could become a missile or flying object. When in doubt, just store it.
If you are likely to have to evacuate, secure your home, not just from the severe weather, but also from vandals and thieves. You could be delayed from accessing your property for some time if a storm causes massive devastation.
Gather a bag, suitcase or box with your important papers, CDs, thumb drives, etc., including any digital records that are on your desktop computer (and not on your laptop or mobile device). Make this light, compact and weatherproof, so you can grab it and go in an instant.
Prepare for power losses earlier than you think. Make sure you can function if it is pitch black, because storms hit when they want to, not when it’s convenient. Gather a mobile power bag also, with flashlights, extra batteries and consumables, much like you would do to prepare for a winter storm. Traffic can become gridlocked, especially when people wait until the last minute to leave.
Preparing for property damage is actually the last priority. Personal safety, property security, records and survival kits should be the priorities. Remember that with northern storms, wet snow and ice can down power lines and cause property damage even more than the other factors.
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Ken Kmet has managed Florida community associations and multi-family real estate including condominiums, homeowner associations, mobile homes, professional office centers, apartments, and residential. He published a condominium and HOA newspaper in central Florida for 10 years. Ken designed, created, and manages the web portal www.condovoice.com, an online multimedia and educational resource for community associations. He is a regular contributor to the industry blog All Things Property Management by Buildium, a property management software company.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.