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Post Irma Survey Results

From September 27th until October 20th, the Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL) conducted a survey of Florida community associations to gauge how well prepared they were to face a storm like Hurricane Irma and how well they are faring in their post-storm recovery efforts. While Irma’s physical impact varied throughout Florida, the psychological impact of the storm was fairly uniform – Floridians were very wary of the approach of this monstrous hurricane and the media reported that a record number of them heeded the call to evacuate.

However, the CALL Survey did reveal some surprises:

  1. 44% of communities were under a mandatory evacuation order and 88% of those had residents remain in the community in the face of that order. That means a substantial number of communities had residents at risk.
  2. 32% of communities actually enforced that order but 64% of them failed to knock on doors to remind residents to evacuate. Combined with the percentage that had residents defy the evacuation order, this means many association were not in a position to account for their residents after the storm because they had no record of those who stayed.
  3. 53% of buildings shut down essential building services as the storm grew near. This means many communities put the property itself at risk by not taking steps to properly prepare and shut down the building. If this was done in deference to those who defied evacuation orders, which is not required, this only exposes the community to greater recovery expenses.
  4. Fewer than 20% of respondents exercised any of the emergency powers they were authorized to exercise pursuant to Florida law. All Board members and managers should know the emergency powers granted to condominium associations to protect life and property both before and after a storm.

More than a majority of respondents suffered damages due to Irma but very few had adequate financial resources lined up to address those damages. The lack of adequate reserves or a standby line of credit contribute to this dilemma. Even more troubling, the vast majority of respondents had not enlisted and were not planning to enlist the help of professionals to assist them with compiling their insurance claim. It is enormously difficult to fully recover from your insurance carrier for a casualty loss, especially a casualty as significant as a hurricane, without professional assistance.

Please see the summary of survey responses below.

Thank you for your interest. All of us at CALL hope that your community is swiftly recovering from the effects of Irma.

Kenneth Direktor

Kenneth Direktor

Contact: kdirektor@bplegal.com

Mr. Direktor leads Becker & Poliakoff's Community Association Practice Group which includes over forty attorneys. He personally represents communities from Miami to Vero Beach focusing on representation of condominium, homeowners and cooperative associations and country clubs. He regularly speaks on topics such as assessments, effective covenant enforcement, insurance, hurricane recovery, fiscal management, document drafting and other community association issues.