Fort Worth Property Management Company Prepares Tenants for Disasters

You may not think of Texas as a place that is prone to natural disasters, but some common emergencies that you’ll need to be prepared for are tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding. Even if there hasn’t been a natural disaster in your area for quite a while, these can and do happen all across the state of Texas and it’s important that you are prepared for them. As a Fort Worth property management company, Specialized Property Management knows what you’ll need to plan, prepare, and stay informed in the case of an emergency. Some valuable sources for detailed emergency preparedness information are Emergency.Portal.Texas.Gov and Txready.org. We’ve summarized some of their tips below, such as what to include in your emergency kits and how to create an effective emergency plan, but we encourage you to visit these sites on your own time to learn more. 

Emergency Preparedness Kits

Real estate investing in Fort Worth isn’t just about having a passive income. You’ll need to do much more than that, and one of the most important responsibilities is to make sure that your property is protected from natural disasters and that tenants are ready for emergencies. Preparing a kit to last at least a few days in the case of an emergency is extremely important. You’ll need to teach tenants that having food, water, and other supplies for their family and pets to use until they can find more supplies is crucial. In some cases, they’ll want an emergency preparedness kit to use even while stranded at home, possibly without electricity or water. Once they have everything they need, they can put their kit together in a portable, waterproof container. Some people like to use bins or waterproof backpacks for ease of carrying, especially if they have to evacuate their home on foot. Remind tenants to replace old items as they expire every few months. Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company suggests including the following items:  

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned or pouched food
  • One gallon of water per day for each person and pet
  • Manual can opener
  • Baby items (baby food, formula, bottles, diapers)
  • Pet supplies
  • First-aid kit
  • Medications
  • Hand sanitizer, wipes
  • Bleach to purify water, mix 1/8 teaspoon per gallon. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags
  • Dental care products (toothpaste, toothbrushes)
  • Hearing and vision products (hearing aids, glasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution)
  • Soaps, personal hygiene supplies, diapers
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Face masks to filter air
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries or crank radio (emergency alert radio is best)
  • Extra cell phone battery and car charger
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Matches and lighter – keep in a waterproof container or sealable plastic bag
  • Whistle
  • Reading glasses and sunglasses

Keep These Items in the Car

You or your tenants may have to leave town in a hurry with only your vehicle. Fort Worth Property Management Company advises that you make sure these items are near or in your car at all times so you can grab them and go: 

  • Road maps
  • Car repair items (tools, spare tire, tire patch kit, oil)
  • Food and water
  • Plastic plates, cups, utensils
  • Tent, blankets, pillows
  • Clothes and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear and towels
  • Books, games, toys

First-Aid Kit

  • 2 compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 band-aids (different sizes)
  • First-aid tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone ointment
  • Pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Instant cold pack
  • 2 pairs of medical gloves (non-latex)
  • Oral thermometer, scissors, tweezers
  • 2 roller bandages (different widths)
  • 2 elastic bandages
  • 10 sterile gauze pads (different sizes)
  • 2 triangular bandages (for making slings)
  • First-aid instruction booklet

Emergency Documents

After a disaster, the last thing you will want to do is go through the time-consuming hassle of trying to reorder all of the important documents you’ve lost, especially if those documents are about your real estate investing in Fort Worth. Not being able to prove your identity or not being able to access your bank account could be a major hurdle in trying to rebuild your life. Avoid these stressful situations by making copies of your important documents and keeping them in a waterproof bag. Include the following:

  • Current photo IDs, driver licenses, birth records, Social Security cards, passports (always keep your social security number separate from other documents to decrease the risk of identity theft)
  • Current photos of family members, in case you get separated
  • Health insurance and prescription cards
  • Medical records, medications, and dosages
  • Phone numbers (family, friends, doctors)
  • Bank account information
  • Wills
  • Insurance documents (homeowner, renter, flood, life)
  • Property deeds, leases, mortgages
  • Vehicle titles, insurance, leases, loan documents
  • Inventory of household possessions and their value (take photos of every room, every drawer, every closet)
  • Backup computer files on a USB drive
  • Copies of important keys
  • Utility bills (to prove where you live)

Make a Plan

Fort Worth Property Management Company suggests taking the time to practice with your tenants, or have them practice on their own with their family, the following scenarios:

  • Where would we meet if we got separated?
  • How will we communicate if phones are not working?
  • Where should we go if we have to evacuate?
  • What if we have no home to return to?

Making Your Emergency Plan

Use the Emergency Plan Form to create your plan. Record information such as:

  • Birthdates
  • Social Security numbers (Social Security numbers should be kept separately from other information for identity security purposes.)
  • Medical information, including a list of prescription medication and dosages
  • Medical and property insurance information
  • Work and school phone numbers and addresses
  • Emergency contacts
  • A designated evacuation site
  • Telephone numbers of family and friends, including those you use frequently

Making your emergency plan includes preparing what you need to do before, during, and after a disaster, as well as preparing for stress, emotions, and mental health. Once you have a plan written up, keep it in a safe place. Periodically practice your plan with the entire family, so even little children will know what to do. Make sure that everyone has important phone numbers and addresses memorized without using a phone. Additionally, inform everyone in the family of where the emergency preparedness items will be stored so that in the event that a disaster does strike, there is no confusion. The more you practice, the more ready you’ll be in case of emergencies and disasters.

Keeping Your Property and Tenants Safe

As a rental property owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your investment and tenants safe. Specialized Fort Worth Property Management company has over 30 years of experience keeping tenants safe as well as rental properties, but the majority of emergencies we see aren’t life-threatening. In fact, most of the calls we get from tenants are to report maintenance and repair needs, even at 1 am in the morning. We understand that tenants need to be responded to, but we are also experts in laying clear boundaries and expectations from the beginning by including policies in the lease agreement detailing maintenance, non-emergency repairs, and emergency repairs in writing. This way, tenants will know when it is appropriate to contact their Fort Worth property management company and what warrants an emergency phone call. 

The Landlord’s Responsibilities

Texas law states that property management companies must make sure that rental unit conditions are healthy and safe for tenants. Staying on top of local laws and codes will help you know the standard of repair required of you or your property management company. The landlord’s responsibilities if they are self-managing their property are to repair and maintain the following: 

  • Damage caused by natural emergency situations like fire, flooding, and severe storms
  • Leaky roofs
  • Pest control for roaches, rats, mice, and bedbugs
  • Sewer leaks and plumbing problems that create a health-hazardous situation
  • Dangerous exposed or faulty electrical wiring

A Tenant’s Responsibilities

It’s the tenant’s job to report any issues they see before they become major problems. Before trying to fix anything themselves, the tenant should check with their Fort Worth property management company. Other tenant responsibilities include paying rent on time and keeping the property in good condition, free from excessive damage. Tenants should also be aware of all of the natural disaster and emergency preparedness tips above and do all they can to keep their personal valuables safe and protected. 

Real estate investing in Fort Worth involves a lot of hard work, and being prepared for the future is one thing you don’t want to forget to do. Let Specialized Property Management handle the hard work for you by making both landlord and tenant responsibilities clear from the start, enforcing code compliance, and making sure that you and your tenants are prepared for emergencies and natural disasters. When you hire Specialized Property Management, you enlist a team of rental property experts to ensure the success and protection of your real estate investment. Contact us today to learn more about how Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company can make your life easier as a property owner and help you save time and money.  

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