If you’re in the manufactured home industry in Florida, you know how dangerous hurricanes and other natural disasters can be. What plan of action do you have in place if one strikes?
In August 2004, Hurricane Charley ripped through Southwest Florida and damaged a Newby Management community. It was more than a natural disaster to our team; it was a learning lesson that turned into a staple of our company.
By 2005, our team developed the Newby Emergency Action Team or NEAT. This is a first response team to check on resident safety and property damage after a disaster like weather, fire, flood, terrorism, and violence. Over the past 11 years, the NEAT team has been deployed 14 times to assist our communities across Florida.
While it does not replace state or federal resources like Red Cross, we do understand that during
times of natural disaster, these agencies can get overwhelmed. That’s where NEAT steps in. Our team of trained volunteers is able to provide resources and organization until the appropriate agencies can take over.
Our Response Teams are comprised of the corporate office team, managers, team members, residents from non-impacted communities, family, and friends. The immediate action of the response teams is to be a lifeline to the outside world, clear away debris, and make temporary repairs to homes. NEAT consists of eight teams: Security, Sanitation, Damage Assessment, Damage Repair, Kitchen, Tire Repair, Debris Cleanup and the Information Table.
NEAT has two fully stocked emergency trailers. These 6’ X 12’ enclosed trailers are stocked with supplies and tools that make the recovery period easier. They hold everything from generators and air compressors to bug spray and gloves.
Newby Management hosts training classes every other year for our managers, board members, and others who wish to participate. Learn more about how one of our manufactured home communities hosted a mock hurricane drill.
When a disaster strikes, we deploy an Incident Commander from our corporate office who will receive updates from the community manager and ensure the community is prepared for the hurricane.
The Incident Commander will arrive onsite at the community shortly after a hurricane hits. We decide how many IC’s we will need depending on the number of community’s effected. Directly following
the hurricane, an Incident Commander is appointed onsite, which is usually the community manager, until one of our corporate IC’s can take over.
Our team also appoints an Information Officer who handles communication between our communities and the corporate office.They communicate with our manufactured home community board members and investors after the storm. They also coordinate relief supplies for our response teams. An onsite Information Officer sits at the information table to help organize volunteers, be the
main point of contact for the chairmen of the 8 committees, and records damage by lot number as reported by the Damage Assessment team.
When disaster strikes, our team is prepared to help our communities, residents and team members recover as quickly as possible. It’s a daunting task, but it’s one that has to be considered and planned for in manufactured home communities. What’s your plan?
To learn more about NEAT and how Newby Management handles natural disasters in their manufactured home communities, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.