The weather in Dallas is unpredictable. Over the last several years, we’ve dealt with fallout from natural disasters we never expected to see, including hurricanes and freezing cold winters.
This illustrates the importance of preparing your Dallas investment property for any potential catastrophe. You want to be sure your tenants and your property are safe.
Having a good plan in place before you need it is critical when you’re dealing with any kind of emergency at your property.
Put an Emergency Plan in Place
No one wants to think about the worst case scenario, but being prepared is far better than being taken by surprise.
Put a written emergency plan in place, and make sure your tenants know how to respond if there’s a natural disaster, emergency at the home, or some kind of catastrophe that involves quick thinking and action.
Have paper and digital copies of all your necessary documentation. This includes lease agreements, insurance policies, and identification. Talk to your insurance agent at least once a year to review your policies and make sure you’re fully covered.
Provide phone numbers for the nearest police department, fire department, hospital, and poison control center so your tenants know exactly where to turn if something happens.
Hurricanes, Snow, and Natural Disasters
Strong tropical storms and even hurricanes that reach the Texas coastline can move through the Dallas area, causing floods, wind damage, and dangerous conditions. In the winter, temperatures can drop to lower than normal levels, putting your property at risk for frozen pipes and slippery outdoor surfaces. You want to make sure your rental property is prepared to withstand these occurrences, however rare they may be. Take the following precautions:
- Have your roof inspected annually to make sure there aren’t any missing shingles, opportunities for water intrusion, or pest issues. Have debris, sticks, and leaves cleared.
- Clean your gutters at least once a year.
- Bring in any outdoor furniture before a storm hits.
- Check your irrigation systems and sprinklers. Make sure they’re drained before winter weather arrives.
- Inspect your foundation annually. Look for moisture, shifts, and cracks.
Prevent Fires and Floods
A major item on your safety checklist is smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Fire can be an unexpected danger, and odorless carbon monoxide from heaters and appliances can be deadly. Check them at least twice a year and make sure your residents understand the emergency procedures if there’s a fire.
Water is another potential hazard. Check your property’s gutters and roof every year and make sure there aren’t any slow drips or leaks in the plumbing. Inspect sinks, toilets, and tubs. Water will lead to mold, which can lead to health issues and expensive remediation issues. A preventative approach is far safer and more cost effective.
Document all of your safety inspections so you can demonstrate that you’re responsive to any issues that have arisen at your property. Make sure your tenants understand the importance of reporting maintenance problems right away.
These are just a few things to think about as you’re putting together an emergency plan. We work hard to keep your Dallas investment property safe and your tenants well-informed. If you’d like to hear more about how we protect your investment, please contact us at OmniKey Realty.