Dealing with an emergency in Strata
With the extreme weather conditions experienced in NSW recently, PICA Group and its subsidiary strata companies wants to provide apartment owners and renters with some quick tips to help them sort out any damage that may occur to their homes because of storms or fire.
Group CEO, Greg Haywood said that most people who live in bushfire prone areas were pretty good at knowing what to do and who to call in case of a bush fire but what if you’re right in the city where there is a minimal chance of bush fire but plenty of chances for storm damage over the coming months.
“As was seen in Sydney’s Olympic Park recently, it only takes a cigarette butt or lightening strike for things to change fast and in this case a bush fire caused by a cigarette butt destroyed or damaged more than a hundred cars in an area with lots of people and facilities surrounding it,” Mr Haywood said.
If you do find yourself in an emergency situation this summer the first thing to do is stay calm.
“If you’re ordered to evacuate because of fire or flood then do so otherwise you might put other people’s lives in danger if they have to rescue you,” Mr Haywood advised.
“After the event has passed the first thing to do is photograph as much damage as possible once you’re allowed back to your property. This will be a good record for the insurance company.
“Beware of any live power lines and always follow the instructions of emergency services personnel who may be in the area. Don’t try to fix damage until an insurance assessor has been to assess the extent of the damage. The SES may be able to temporarily secure roofs and cut up fallen trees but as far as any other damage your strata manager will arrange this by starting the insurance claims process.”
If you have had a few storms lately then it may be worthwhile getting a professional to look over the building to make sure there is no damage that may escalate during the next storm.
“Over time the wind and rain can lift roof flashing or move tiles so it may be wise to get a building professional to give your building the all clear,” Mr Haywood said.
“Remember also before a storm to ensure all windows, flyscreens and doors plus outdoor furniture and potted plants are secure and not going to fly around causing more damage if there are strong winds.”
If you need help with your apartment contact your strata manager – he or she will go over with you any issues that need to be addressed.
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Kris Suraj Padukone
Marketing & Communications Manager