Large condominium buildings face a unique set of challenges when there is an emergency such as weather events or prolonged power failure. In order to prepare for an emergency, your condominium board and management staff should draft a form emergency preparedness plan that will help staff and residents to be informed about what to do when the building experiences an emergency. Here is a list of some important items that should be addressed in your condominium building’s plan.
Separate Information for Staff and Residents
Your complete plan should contain two components; one part should be for staff use only and there should be a separate plan summary and instructions disseminated to residents. The copy for staff should assign responsibility to staff members or departments for key items and contain a list of contact information just for staff, which may include private cellphone numbers. The plan for residents should include local emergency resources, important contact information, and important safety information about the building such as emergency lighting and exits.
Map Emergency Egress Routes
All residents should have a map of where to go from the lobby of their floors to access level. Include your county’s phone numbers for information about emergency evacuation routes.
Include Information About What Happens if You Lose Power
Residents need to know about what’s going to happen in the event of a power outage. What will the emergency generator power? Will they be able to get outside using the elevators, or will everyone need to use the stairs? Is there adequate emergency lighting, and where is it located? Your plan must answer all of these important safety questions in detail so that residents will know exactly how to evacuate.
Let Residents Know How They Need to Do to Prepare
In the event of a weather emergency such as a hurricane, some buildings need all residents on board with preparedness initiatives. Your condominium regulations may specify that units need to put up storm shutters or remove their patio furniture. Your plan should describe how and when residents will be notified to take action.
Keep a List of Elderly and Disabled Residents
Your plan should assign responsibility to the building manager for maintaining a list of residents who are elderly or disabled and may require emergency assistance. It’s helpful to have this information readily available for first responders who are helping residents evacuate the building in an emergency.