September 9, 2019

Resources and Tools to Create a Multifamily Natural Disaster Preparedness Plan

Flooded homes - how to create a multifamily disaster preparedness plan

Disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. Having the right plan in place before a disaster will ensure an effective, coordinated response.

Enterprise has helped inform the recovery and rebuilding of thousands of affordable homes in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York, helping communities develop homes to a greener, healthier standard and designing them with flood-proofing and other risk-mitigation features.

Through this work, we've developed many tools and resources that can be used before, during and after a natural disaster or emergency.

Below is a selection of our top resources for creating an emergency preparedness plan, including free printable tools, templates and worksheets.

19 Retrofit Strategies for Multifamily Building Resilience

Ready to Respond: Strategies for Multifamily Building Resilience is a collection of 19 practical strategies for building owners to make their properties more resilient against the effects of extreme weather events.

It draws on advice from more than 50 experts in the field of resilience as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In addition, the manual offers guidance on determining a property’s vulnerability to various hazards, finding which strategies are relevant to a particular building, and getting started with a resilience plan.

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Future-Proofing Your Public Housing Facility 

Public housing facilities face unique challenges during emergency events. Unable to easily relocate extremely vulnerable residents and stewarding vulnerable assets, public housing authorities depend on the continuous operation of their buildings and a rapid return to service after any disaster event.

Housing Urban Development (HUD) and Enterprise Community Partners dive deep into how to create a climate-smart and emergency-ready housing plan using a set of tools we developed with HUD in this two-part recorded training.

Part 1: Identify your Climate Risks and Vulnerabilities

Here's what you'll learn:

  • The importance of emergency preparedness 
  • Where to start the emergency-planning process
  • The components of a risk assessment 
  • How to identify your risks and vulnerabilities 

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Part 2: Building Your Emergency Plan

Here's what you'll learn:

  • How to develop an emergency plan
  • Risk-mitigation strategies
  • Damage minimization to ensure a quick return to service
  • Resident engagement to support safety, preparedness and recovery
  • How to maintain key business operations
  • Understanding your insurance needs and how to coordinate funding sources
  • Coordination with community stakeholders
  • Post-disaster recovery coordination and funding measures

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Ready to Respond: Disaster Staffing Toolkit

The Ready to Respond: Disaster Staffing Toolkit helps affordable multifamily housing organizations develop comprehensive disaster staffing plans to protect buildings, engage residents and continue business operations in the event of a disaster.

By using the toolkit to develop a disaster staffing plan, your organization will be able to:

  • Assign an Emergency Preparedness Coordinator (EPC) to manage the plan’s implementation
  • Minimize building damage and ensure quick return to service
  • Support the safety, preparedness and recovery of residents
  • Maintain key business operations throughout a disaster

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Ready to Respond: Tools for Resilience

Our Ready to Respond Tools for Resilience were developed to help affordable housing organizations make their buildings resilient, prepare their staff to handle emergencies and ensure their residents remain safe.  

These tools will help you:

  • Communicate and coordinate with residents and external stakeholders during a variety of emergencies
  • Ensure housing infrastructure can sustain shocks from a variety of emergency events
  • Maintain business continuity during an emergency event
  • Support compliance with the 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and its new criterion: Design for Resilience

These strategies will help affordable housing organizations of all sizes manage shocks from major disasters and develop the resilience needed to adapt to future emergencies.

1. Insurance Coverage Guide

The Insurance Coverage Guide helps verify if an organization's insurance coverage is sufficient to protect the organization, buildings and residents in the event of a disaster or interruption in business activities. It includes a list of samples questions to ask insurance agents to clarify concepts and coverage. 

2. Insurance Coverage Worksheet

The Insurance Coverage Worksheet includes important information about an organization's various insurance policies to track existing coverage and identify gaps. The worksheet should be customized to fit the needs of the organization. The organization should fill out a worksheet for each building in the organization’s portfolio and make copies of policies to attach to the worksheet. 

3. Vital Records Worksheet

The Vital Records Guide includes best practices for collecting, organizing, storing, and protecting records that are vital to business operations. 

4. Benefits and Reimbursement Guide

The Benefits and Reimbursement Guide will help organizations navigate the variety of sources available for post-disaster funding. The guide includes information on gathering documentation and assembling funding applications. 

5. Building Readiness Report

The Building Readiness Report organizes key information about a building including its critical systems, residential and commercial use, evacuation zone and more. 

6. Building Emergency Kit Worksheet

The Building Emergency Kit Worksheet includes a list of recommended equipment and supplies a building should have in case of an emergency. The worksheet should be customized and reviewed twice per year to make sure the kit is stocked and items are functioning properly. 

7. Building Equipment Inventory Worksheet

The Building Equipment Inventory Worksheet will help organizations track critical building equipment. It should be updated at least annually and when new equipment is installed or purchased. Should an emergency occur the worksheet will be used to quickly order or repair damaged equipment. 

8. Resident Flyer Guide

This guide will help you create flyers to prepare residents for emergencies and to provide updates to residents before, during and after a disaster

9. Resident Survey

The Resident Survey gathers critical contact and special needs information and communication preferences so the organization can best reach and support residents. The survey should be given to residents to complete prior to a disaster. 

10. Your Go-Bag Checklist

Your Go-Bag Checklist is a visual guide to help residents self-prepare for evacuation. It includes a list of essential items residents should keep easily accessible should evacuation be necessary.

The toolkit includes guidance for the Resident Engagement Team Leader to host an event during which residents can assemble go-bags to ensure this important task is complete. Your Go-Bag Checklist also includes evacuation tips and a Help/OK sign for residents who choose to shelter in place. 

11. IT/Telecommunications Continuity Checklist

The IT Continuity Checklist will guide organizations in protecting their critical IT equipment. The checklist includes a list of tasks to be completed before a disaster and should be customized to fit the needs of the organization. 

12. Payment Card Guide

The Payment Card Guide describes the purpose and benefits of using payment cards for disaster-related purchases. It includes best practices and additional references for setting up and using payment cards. 

A Field Guide for Cleanup of Flooded Homes

This illustrated step-by-step instructional guide teaches contracters and DIYers alike how to:

  • Prevent mold-related health problems
  • Save damaged homes
  • Expedite recovery after a natural disaster-related flood 
  • Reduce mold growth to non-detectable levels

Learn from an actual protocol for successful cleanup of mold. Review results from three homes in New Orleans, including one with at least five feet of standing water for at least two weeks and mold growth up to the ceiling. Home treated with this protocol can be undergo typical restoration afterwards.

Three national housing organizations-Enterprise Community Partners, the National Center for Healthy Housing and NeighborWorks America teamed up with NeighborWorks organization Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans to develop the cleanup protocols. The clean-up methods are based on scientific research and best practices unique to the destruction in the Gulf Coast region wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Funding was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Columbia University and Tulane University provided expertise for the demonstration project.

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Other Emergency Preparedness Plan Resources

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