In less than one month, the 2018 hurricane season begins, and experts are predicting that it will be an active one. Seasonal residents who own homes in traditionally affected areas should have by now made arrangements with a company to implement their pre- and post-storm plans and procedures for when a storm is imminent. Last year’s Harvey, Irma and Maria certainly shook a lot of people out of their false sense of security concerning storms, which seems to have been caused by the lack of any really major threats over the years before them. So have you made plans? Are you confident that your Home Watch provider has plans in place to handle things if a big storm or hurricane comes to town? Members of the National Home Watch Association are versed in what storm services they will–and won’t–provide. A conversation should have been had with you to discuss realistic expectations of how storm situations will be addressed.
This past year, many homeowners found out the hard way that the person or company that was supposed to be looking out for them were nowhere to be found. And while I understand that people have to evacuate their own homes and businesses, the Home Watch Professional will find a way to reach clients once they have the ability to. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners were left with no information–and a lot of anxiety. And, while the safety of any Home Watch Professional is our most important concern, once they are safe they have a duty to their clients to establish communication as soon as possible. Make sure that you have had a conversation with your provider about how things will proceed if and when that weather event happens. The NHWA suggests that you have your provider perform a dry run–a dress rehearsal if you will–to make sure that all systems are working and equipped properly. This will give you and your provider a better sense of control over the situation, having already been through the process.
So, let me leave you with this advice: Number one, have a plan and an NHWA accredited company to implement it. And, number two, see number one.