Emergency Preparedness: Will You Be Ready?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Elaine Simpson

Typical emergency situations, in property management lingo, cover “fire, flood or blood”.  Take a look at the headlines this month and most of our country has suffered from some type of disaster or emergency situation: wildfires, hurricane caused high winds and flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, bomb threats, renegade shooters, and the list goes on.  One of the duties of a property management company and its staff is to have a contingency plan in case of an emergency situation.

As property managers, what should we do?  We must educate our staff about possible situations and how to respond to them.   We should include sample emergency situations in our policy and procedure manuals and share a list of emergency contacts.

FEMA has leaders and regional offices around the country.  Become familiar with their office closest to you. FEMA stands for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an agency of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. Their customer service number is 1 800-621-3362 and their website is https://www.fema.gov.  There is a map of the United States showing which states are in which regions that can be accessed by visiting https://www.fema.gov/regional-contact-information.  This site also gives one access to flood maps. For the addresses and telephone numbers of the Emergency Management Agencies by state, visit https://www.fema.gov/emergency-management-agencies.  The National Emergency Training Center is a subsidiary of FEMA. They teach courses on how to minimize the impact of disasters and emergencies.

Other “readiness resources” to have on your list should include:

Power outage – names and numbers for local electric supply companies;

Road closures – state Department of Transportation;

Water – city or private water providers for sewer-related emergencies such as broken water mains, fire hydrant, or water service line or sewer backups;

Cable, Phone, Internet Service – list local companies with phone numbers and websites;

Gas – local companies with numbers and websites;

Public Safety – 911 and non-emergency numbers for police and fire departments;

American Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org/get-help;

Your County Department of Emergency Management;

Your County Department of Public Health;

Your State Department of Emergency & Military Affairs;

You can also download a guide provided by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security at Ready.gov called Protecting Your Family and Your Home, an Emergency Preparedness Guide.

For assistance writing a Policy and Procedure Manual or to find out more about the many and various ways Occupancy Solutions can prepare you for the future with in-person customized training or online e-learning training webinars and property management courses, visit www.occupancysolutions.com today or call 1-800-856-0948 for a free consultation.  Stay safe and be ready.  As one recent campaign touted “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead…But You Can!”


Elaine Simpson – Owner, Occupancy Solutions, LLC

Operations, Leasing, Marketing Consultant and Training Specialist

Elaine Simpson has been employed in the housing industry since 1986. Starting on site as a leasing agent, she moved up, working as assistant manager, site manager, executive director and finally senior regional manager with communities in several states and portfolios containing more than 1400 units.  Ms. Simpson has worked for local and national industry leading companies and throughout her career, has trained new managers across the country, assisted in creating “Best Practices” and procedure manuals, participated in numerous task forces during national mergers, acquisitions and dispositions and headed “turn around” teams assigned to troubled communities, successfully increasing income while decreasing expenses and allowing the property to recover economic viability. 

With over 30 years of experience in the multi family industry, Elaine Simpson founded Occupancy Solutions, LLC to provide on site operations, human resources, housing program compliance, maintenance, marketing, leasing, training and consulting services for multifamily professionals of market rate, senior and affordable housing communities throughout the United States.   Occupancy Solutions assists communities by providing proven, cost-effective techniques and strategies that achieve increased occupancy, improve resident retention, minimize expenses and increase net operating income.  

Ms. Simpson is a licensed real estate broker in Michigan and Arizona, a Certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, a member of the National Speakers Associations, a National Apartment Association Education Institute Faculty Member, an Accredited Resident Manager a Certified Assisted Housing Manager and John Maxwell Certified Coach, Trainer and Speaker. Let Occupancy Solutions create solutions for your community. To learn more about the vast range of services and trainings Occupancy Solutions can provide, please visit www.occupancysolutions.com for more information.