Does your apartment have a Disaster Recovery Guide?
Do you live in an apartment? Are you an owner of a multi-family property? According to the American Red Cross fourty-five states in America are at moderate to high risks for earthquakes. As we enter the summer season, we need to start paying closer attention to our disaster plans. Do you have a plan for an emergency? Since we live in an area where wild fires and earthquakes are part of our everyday lives, it is always a good idea to be ready in case of a disaster. To be effectively prepared you need to evaluate the risks, secure your property and have a written plan that you can use to quickly leave your home and go to a safe place. When disaster strikes we have to make decisions and act calmly and promptly.
Put Your Plans in Writing
It is critical that every apartment building has a manual or a handbook that lays out the expectations and the responsibilities of the on-site property manager. (If you are a tenant, don’t be shy to ask the manager whether they have a manual.) The handbook should include communication channels with residents before, during and after a disaster. The property management staff should also put all residents in touch with non-profit or federal agencies – such as FEMA – for assistance.
Within some communities competing apartment buildings have a mutual agreement to house tenants in their sister property in case of an emergency. Ask your property manager whether your building has such security for you and your family. At times of natural disasters many people gets displaced. Knowing where you might be sent beforehand can put many at peace. The property management most likely has a website. Ask them if you can find information on their site or whether they send out newsletters throughout the year covering these and other issues.
Community Emergency Response Team is a program that offers to educate people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills. In case first responders such as the fire department or ambulances are not able to get to you in a short amount of time, CERT members can organize and assists people around the neighborhood.
Red Cross App
Make sure to download the Red Cross Disaster Recovery App. It provides real-time information about what to do before, during and after a disaster. The apps were built for both IOS and Android mobiles, downloaded from ITunes and Google Play. These applications can come very handy and since we mostly all have smart-phones nowadays it is a very convenient way to learn what to do even ahead of time.
Most of us are members of at least one social media network. Utilize all during an emergency that you are signed up to. Let everyone know through all social media channels what is going on in your neighborhood. Warn them, talk to them, tell them where to go and where not to go. We have seen the effects of news going viral before. More than ever you need to rely on these services to help people stay safe or even save their lives.