Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana and the Gulf Coast this weekend as a Category 4 hurricane bringing massive flooding, devastating damage and wide-spread and long-lasting power outages to the region. Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were also being impacted by the storm’s outer bands and as it moves inland, increasing the potential for wide-spread and costly damage. President Biden has declared States of Emergency for Louisiana and Mississippi. Governors of affected states, including Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have done the same.
With a storm so destructive, millions of people and properties will be impacted, including many apartment firms, communities and residents. Given these conditions, NMHC urges members in the storm’s path to make all necessary preparations and plan for disaster recovery. NMHC has put together a list of go-to sites with relevant emergency preparedness and recovery information for the property-level and apartment residents.
Stay Up to Date on the Storm
Check resources like the National Hurricane Center, your county’s emergency management agency and local news media daily for updates on the storm’s expected path and impact. Additionally, each of the potentially affected states has produced a host of resources and other hurricane preparedness material with local information that you may want to add to any communications you send to your residents. They include: the City of New Orleans; Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness; Florida Division of Emergency Management, Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Follow FEMA in Real Time
In addition to FEMA’s Hurricane Ida page, home to official safety information and storm resources, FEMA’s Twitter feed (follow @fema) includes breaking storm news, including info on the storm’s progress, emergency tips and tools, shelters and more. You can also download the FEMA Mobile App to receive important storm alerts, safety tips, shelter locations and more.
Prepare Your Residents
Gables Residential and the Southeast Florida Apartment Association have provided this sample letter to help residents prepare for the storm. Additionally, you may wish to direct them to NMHC’s Hurricane Resources for Residents guide.
Prepare Your Property and Get Up to Speed on Hurricane Basics
NMHC firms should consult and follow FEMA’s Hurricane Ready Business Toolkit to prepare for this and future storms. Additionally, NMHC’s Hurricane Resources for Apartment Owners guide provides critical information ranging from property operations and preparedness to loan issues. Lastly, this resource from Ready.gov explains what to do when there’s a hurricane watch or warning alert for your local area and provides tips on what to do before, during and after a hurricane.
NMHC's website features a list of important pre- and post-disaster resources on its Hurricane Resource Center as well as several guidance documents covering emergency preparedness.
NMHC also has a wide variety of resources for both property owners and residents outlining aid and resources to rebuild on its Hurricane Resource Center.
Storms of this magnitude are destructive and recovery can seem daunting. Rest assured that assisting in the recovery efforts is a top priority for NMHC. While much of the recovery response will be coordinated by state and local governments, there is still much we can do.
NMHC staff will be communicating with members of Congress and officials at HUD, FEMA and the Treasury Department to ensure the disaster recovery the apartment industry needs are met and that apartments are the priority for housing those displaced from the storms.
If you have properties in an unaffected, but nearby, area and have available apartment homes and are able/willing to make those available to First Responders and those displaced by the storm, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find the latest information from NMHC on our website at nmhc.org/hurricane.
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