Stay Ahead of the Storm: How Affordable Housing Organizations Can Prepare for Summer Weather

As the U.S. grapples with increasingly severe and unpredictable weather patterns, public and affordable housing organizations must be prepared for the challenges posed by extreme summer weather. From scorching heat waves to intense storms, organizations must take proactive measures to ensure the safety, comfort, and well-being of residents and employees.

This blog post outlines nine tips for public and affordable housing organizations to prepare for severe summer weather.

1. Develop an emergency preparedness plan:

Creating a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan is paramount for any housing organization. This plan should outline protocols and procedures to follow during severe weather events, including heatwaves, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. The plan should address evacuation routes, emergency shelters, communication channels, and strategies for assisting vulnerable residents.

2. Conduct regular inspections and maintenance:

Regular inspections of housing facilities are vital to identify potential vulnerabilities and areas that require maintenance or repairs. This includes checking roofs, windows, doors, and drainage systems to ensure they are weatherproof. Additionally, prioritize the maintenance of air conditioning units to keep them functioning efficiently during heat waves.

3. Develop a cooling center:

Access to cool spaces becomes crucial during heat waves, especially for vulnerable populations. Establish a designated cooling center within or near the housing complex that residents can access during extreme heat. Ensure the cooling center is well-equipped with air conditioning, water, and comfortable seating areas.

4. Educate and communicate:

Effective communication plays a pivotal role in preparing residents for severe summer weather. Housing organizations should educate residents on weather-related risks, evacuation procedures, and safety measures. Utilize multiple communication channels such as newsletters, notice boards, and digital platforms to disseminate important information. Additionally, consider organizing workshops or seminars on emergency preparedness.

5. Establish partnerships:

Collaborating with local emergency management agencies, non-profit organizations, and community groups is essential to enhance the organization's capacity to handle severe summer weather events. These partnerships can help share resources, knowledge, and expertise and provide additional support during emergencies.

6. Create an emergency supplies stash:

Every housing organization should have a well-stocked emergency supplies kit readily available. This kit should include essential items such as first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, water, blankets, and hygiene products. Regularly check and replenish the supplies to ensure they remain up-to-date and in good condition.

7. Develop a resident support system:

Severe summer weather can be emotionally and physically challenging for residents, particularly those who are elderly, disabled, or have pre-existing health conditions. Establish a resident support system that includes regular wellness check-ins, access to medical assistance, and resources for coping with extreme weather conditions.

8. Back up data and documents:

Public and affordable housing organizations deal with a significant amount of critical data and documents, including resident information, financial records, and operational documents. It is crucial to regularly back up all this data and store it in secure, off-site locations. Cloud-based solutions offer a reliable and accessible option for data backup, ensuring that critical information remains safe even in the event of damage to physical infrastructure. By backing up data, organizations can minimize the risk of losing valuable information during severe weather events.

9. Review insurance coverage:

Insurance coverage is a vital aspect of risk management for housing organizations. It's essential to review insurance policies regularly to ensure they provide adequate coverage for potential risks associated with severe summer weather, such as flood damage, storm damage, or heat-related incidents. Engage with your insurance professional to assess the organization's current coverage and make any necessary adjustments to address specific weather-related risks. Additionally, organizations should review their policies to understand the claims process and document any pre-existing damages to property or infrastructure. Adequate insurance coverage can provide financial protection and help the organization recover more swiftly in the aftermath of severe weather events.

Bottom line: Preparedness is key! 

Utilize our free seasonal resources to stay informed, be vigilant, and take action.

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Includes copyrighted material from a company under the HAI Group family, with its permission. This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice, and shall not be relied on as such. We strongly recommend consulting with legal counsel or an appropriate subject matter expert.

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