Weathering The Storm: How We Prepared Communities For El Niño

El Niño Walters Management

As we saw by the strong winds and heavy rains earlier this year, El Niño brings storms that are a force with which to be reckoned. While those rains were short-lived, these first two weeks of March we have seen some wet weather powered by El Niño storms leading to what experts are calling “Miracle March”. The majority of the storms we’ve seen so far have been focused on the Pacific Northwest but due to some changes in weather patterns, the Pacific Southwest has been on the receiving end of more storms that are hoped to continue through the next two months before El Niño fades out.

Three of our managers took the time to describe how they have taken a proactive approach recognizing that these storms were a threat to the communities they manage. Preventative maintenance significantly reduces the damage that a community will undergo as a result of a storm. By being proactive, managers save their communities money and frustration. Tasks such as tree-trimming, roof inspections, clearing of gutters and ditches, sending out information to homeowners, and much more are important preventative measures that should be taken.

In order to ensure that communities are prepared for heavy rains and storms, managers must work with vendors who are experts in their respective fields to implement effective maintenance plans.  Community Association Manager Lisa Isaacson was all about taking charge, creating a well-rounded maintenance plan that would ensure her communities’ vendors were on top of their responsibilities.

Deena Arvizu, a community association manager of several of our South County communities, has implemented a thorough plan for dealing with El Niño storms. Several proactive measures allowed Deena to minimize damage such as securing pool furniture and umbrellas prior to storms so they are not broken or uprooted. Uprooted furniture can cause damage to property, often costing the association hundreds of dollars. Strong winds and heavy rain can also cause trees to fall or heavy branches to break.

Community Association Manager Jamie Kim decided to have trees throughout the community inspected and any noticeable threats were addressed immediately. By making tree inspections part of her checklist, Jamie was able to prevent a potentially hazardous situation.

While preventative measures may significantly reduce the damage caused by storms, post storm inspections are vital. Conducting these inspections allows managers to catch damages from the storm and address them as needed. With potential for strong storms over the next month or two, something that may seem like it can wait such as a crack, can result in extensive water damage.  By making repairs the association can prevent the problem from escalating into more expensive issues down the road.

Walters Management is dedicated to making sure that the communities we manage are protected from El Niño storms. By being informed about this year’s El Niño weather patterns and the implications it can have on the different aspects of an association, our community association managers have been able to ensure that the necessary actions are taken.