The recent close call with Hurricane Irma many owners of vacation property questioning how prepared they really are for a big storm. For those who just purchased their first vacation rental, there are things you need to be aware of to keep your home and your guests safe both before the storm and afterwards. The time is now to put together a hurricane preparedness plan to keep your guests and your property safe.
Before the storm
For information on how to prepare for a storm coming and to know what information to provide your guests with, go to www.ready.gov/hurricanes. Here you can read the FEMA guidelines and see sample communication templates to use for emergencies.
Does your rental agreement have a hurricane policy?
While the weather is out of your control, your ability to inform your guests of these situations, should they occur, isn’t. Check out the resources from HomeAway, which details the options for adding a hurricane policy to your rental agreement.
Provided Detailed Information
Have detailed preparation guidelines available in your vacation rental and an evacuation plan posted in case a hurricane warning is issued. Include local news stations and radio channels. Give information on the evacuation route from your vacation rental.
Stay Current with Forecasts
Predicting the path of a storm can be challenging. The storm’s size and path can directly influence what sort of wind patterns guide, enhance or hinder its growth. Forecasters have computers that take large amounts of data and predict where the storm will go and can usually calculate 2-3 days out fairly accurately. Generally the forecast track or path is given with the average consensus of these models. The National Hurricane Center has the most up-to-date information on hurricane developments, forecasts and weather alerts, discussions analyzing the data and more.
After the Storm
Information on post storm clean-up with business-specific information can be found here: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage/prepare-emergencies-disaster-assistance
If you’re concerned about health issues resulting from the event the CDC can help: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/index.html