Hurricane Season – Disaster Planning Webinar Q and A
As readers of this blog know, one June 1 we put on a webinar to begin preparations for hurricane season. The webinar is available here under the title Disaster Planning for the 2011 Hurrican Season: Are You Ready to Weather the Storm? for those who were unable to join us live.
During the course of the webinar we received a number of questions we were unable to answer live due to time constraints. I have listed below some of those questions and the answers. For the sake of clarity and brevity some of the questions have been modified. As always, the below answers are not intended to be legal advice but solely informational.
Q- Can the Board of Directors of a Condominium Association forbid owners and/or guests from entering the property after a natural disaster.
A- Generally, for the Association to prohibit access to the condominium a governmental entity would have to declare the building or surrounding area to be dangerous or uninhabitable. In addition, a structural engineer (or other design professional) may opine as to life safety issues at the condominium which would require access to be limited or prohibited.
Q- Does it make to sense to install hurricane shutters on a building that was built in 2005 under the FL building code 2001 – currently with impact windows and glass.
A- My understanding of impact glass is that it is in lieu of not in addition to shutters. However, there may be issues specific to your building that may change that.
Q- How do we select a restoration contractor approved by the State?
A- Restoration contractors are not, per se, licensed by the state. However, given that almost all work done on a building requires a license of some sort (general contractor, roofing, electrical, plumbing, etc) the best place to determine the qualifications of any contractor is at myfloridalicense.com.
Q- Should Associations have a video or pictorial record of all of the property?
A- Yes. You want to document the existing condition of the condominium at the beginning of each hurricane season. In the age of digital photography, taking photographs and putting them on CD (or for the really technologically adept the cloud) is not that difficult.
Q- Should association secure in writing the obligations and expectations from management firms and landscaping firms?
A- Yes. The Association contract with management companies and landscape companies should spell out what the exact responsibilities are, including response times, contact numbers, pricing.
Q- Is Law and Ordinance Coverage necessary as it is very expensive.
A- Law and Ordinance coverage may be a necessary part of your insurance protection depending on the age of your building. Generally, the older your building is the more likely hurricane damage will result in needing code upgrades to meet the new codes. As for the expense, given the cost of potentially upgrading due to code requirements, law and ordinance coverage may be better way to go. You should speak to your insurance agent to come up with the best insurance package for your specific association.
Q- May we get a copy of this presentation?
A- The presentation is available here.
Q- What type of services does Becker & Poliakoff offer in assisting with insurance claim recovery?
A- For our annual retainer clients we offer to have one of our lawyers, experienced in these types of claims, come to the property at no charge for one free meeting after the casualty event.