Krauss Organization Warns that as Hurricane Matthew Approaches, Commercial Property Owners Should Take Action to Limit Losses

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Homeowners know the drill, but commercial property owners need to think about unique threats to their buildings, tenants and grounds

Things could get a lot worse for commercial property owners before they get better.

With Hurricane Matthew being the 13th named storm since the Atlantic hurricane season started June 1, commercial property management experts at The Krauss Organization are urging owners to take smart steps to minimize potential destruction or disruption of tenant business as the Florida storm season heats up.

Frank G. Cisneros Jr., the Tampa native who leads the Commercial Property Management Division at The Krauss Organization, observed that this hurricane season has just exceeded the yearly average of 12 named storms, and that the most active part of the season is still to come.

The record high was 28 named storms and 15 hurricanes in 2005, with the record low in 1983 with four named storms and two hurricanes. Hurricane season ends Nov. 30, but historic records show Florida has had hurricanes in every month of the year.

Hurricane Matthew was forecasted to be north of the Bahamas and a potential threat to Florida by Tuesday, Oct. 4.

“Things could get a lot worse for commercial property owners before they get better,” said Cisneros, who offered these tips, techniques and procedures for property owners and managers seeking to minimize the risks of flooding, damage or business disruption:

  • When the power goes out, the electric locks on buildings and key cards obviously are not going to work, creating significant evacuation problems for tenants or ingress-egress challenges for security or public safety personnel. Also, with security systems and lighting likely down in a power outage, the probability of vandalism or unwanted intrusion is heightened. Property owners should talk to their security system providers, electrical service vendors and the power company about potential remedies.
  • Have the roofing vendor get up on the roof and make sure no drains or scuppers are clogged.
  • Absentee owners should insist their property managers give them detailed building integrity reports along with the monthly financials always, but especially during hurricane season from June 1 to Nov. 30. The property manager is the owner’s eyes and ears on the ground at the property, and is responsible for those valuable real estate assets.
  • According to Cisneros, unlike previous years, Florida has experienced exceptionally heavy rains recently which have saturated the ground and softened tree root structures. That has created more potential for trees to topple, a situation that will be aggravated with high wind events. Professional landscaper observation, proper trimming, pruning or adding support structures could help avoid these problems on the property.
  • Also for absentee landlords or owners, make sure the commercial property manager takes advantage of modern storm forecasting information and warnings to keep everyone informed of the potential for a hit as low pressure systems develop into tropical storms or hurricanes. (Pumps, plywood, sandbags and duct tape can be in short supply very quickly).
  • Check the caulking and sealant around HVAC supports, and make sure gutter and parapet flashing is secure (high winds will rip open the flashing and allow rain water to be blasted into roof structures).
  • Don’t forget to make sure window caulking and door-jam gaskets and thresholds are water tight because wind-driven rain will find its way in through cracks or openings.
  • Check on property drainage to make sure no culvert pipes are clogged or could be clogged by debris from downed limbs or trash.
  • What about canvas and metal awnings, especially sheet metal coverings on parking spaces? Are they secured properly, or are there weak points that can be forced open by high winds and peeled back or ripped off?
  • And finally, communicate with insurance providers regularly throughout the year to keep all coverage current (especially flood and wind-rain riders), but most importantly in the spring before hurricane season begins.

About the Krauss Organization
Founded in 1952, The Krauss Organization is a team of experienced, independent, relationship-oriented commercial real estate advisors. Krauss has been trusted through numerous economic cycles for 65 years to guide clients through transactions with a personal commitment to win-win results. Local access to the decision maker at The Krauss Organization translates to greater value in commercial real estate transactions that are crafted promptly in win-win terms. The Krauss Organization leverages its combined 250 years of market knowledge to generate value for local, national and international clients. For a free consultation on all of your commercial real estate needs, please call 813-885-5656, or e-mail our company President, Ryan Lolkus, at rlolkus(at)thekraussorg(dot)com.

Media Contact:
Andrew Bowen, APR

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