All eyes are on the East Coast as Hurricane Sandy barrels down, promising to wreak havoc on millions of people, including countless landlords and tenants.
Those of us who are not in the path of the hurricane might be tempted to breathe a collective sigh of relief. But this natural disaster serves as a stark reminder of the need for a clear and concise Emergency Evacuation Plan.
If you are fortunate enough to be out of harm’s way from Hurricane Sandy, don’t let that make you complacent. Every landlord faces a statistical likelihood of encountering some sort of emergency or disaster.
These emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, such as:
Fire — one of the most common emergencies.
Flood. Your rentals don’t need to be in coastal areas to get flooded.
Earthquakes, often rearing their heads in the most unlikely places.
Tornadoes — total devastation in a matter of seconds.
Excessive Snowfall. Just picture your rental plunging into darkness when the electricity fails.
Violence, whether the threat is a tenant or a stranger.
Having an Emergency Preparedness Plan in place can make the all the difference between weathering an emergency successfully or personal and financial devastation.
Here are some items that should be included in your Emergency Preparedness Plan for tenants:
1. Complete list of emergency numbers, including:
b. Poison Control Center
c. Police, Fire Department
d. Gas/Electric company
e. Water Department
f. Red Cross
2. A clear and concise Evacuation Plan in the event of Fire or other emergency, including how to properly evacuate handicapped tenants/guests.
3.Instructions on what to do in the event of power failure.
4.Instructions on exactly what to do in the event of a medical emergency.
Ideally, your Emergency Preparedness Plan should be posted in a conspicuous place, where tenants see it every day and know exactly where it is, when the moment arises.
A little advance planning can go a long way toward making your rental a safer and more desirable place for your tenants to live.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.