The news is filled with predictions about the El Nino rains and possible flooding in San Diego this winter. Even the few short rain storms we had this fall were unusually heavy. The experts are saying that El Nino could last through April, so we are definitely not out of the woods yet.
The last El Nino that caused a lot of damage in San Diego was in the winter of 1997 & 1998. There was widespread flooding and mudslides which killed 17 people and caused more than $500 million dollars in damage in California. In February 1998, Los Angeles received a whole year worth of rain in less than 4 weeks. San Francisco received a historic 47 inches of rain in 1998.
So the question is, what have you done as a property manager to prepare your building for possible unprecedented rains? The fact that you are reading this article means you are already on the right track. The first step is to get together with your team to create a practical plan. For example, if you buy sandbags now, there are plenty, but if you wait until the rains come, the stores will be sold out and the price will be double. Make your service providers such as Roofers, Landscapers and Restoration firms part of your team. They can be a valuable resource to support you in preparing all areas of your building.
Poor preparation can lead to a lot more headaches and costs for owners and tenants. Preparing can also mean getting educated about the details of your insurance policy. Ask your insurance agent what is covered and what is not. Many people don't realize that damage from mudslides and water intrusion caused by storms are not usually covered in insurance policies. Also, since the water came into the building from the outside, it is considered Category 3 contaminated water. This type of water needs to be handled differently because of the liability it creates due to potential health hazards for tenants.
If you are interesting in more information about El Nino, ask your industry professionals about awareness training. Additional training creates great discussions and leads to action items for the team to take back to the office with them. Take action now in order to save time and money later.
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