How You can Prepare for a Hurricane Today!

Now that we are in June, the start of the 2019 hurricane season is here. This season has been predicted to be less active than 2018 but it is still predicted to be above average. This should not be cause for panic but should be a call to make sure that we are prepared for when a hurricane does hit.

For those who have not experienced a hurricane, it is a large storm system that can create flooding, heavy winds, and torrential rain. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th and tends to be most active in September.

So how do you prepare for one of these huge storms? Well there are some steps that you can take now to make sure you are ready for when a hurricane does form so you are prepared.

  1. One of the first things that you can do is find out what evacuation zone your home is in. Manufactured Housing communities are almost always Zone A. This means they are the first to receive evacuation notices. If you are ordered to evacuate, do not stay in your home. Listen to your local authorities.
  2. Second, you need to figure out where you will be evacuating to. When hurricane Irma swept through Florida, many did not plan where they were evacuating to. Some were stranded in rest stops and stuck on the road or in hotels where they had to weather the storm. Do not let this happen to you. Find a storm shelter to evacuate to or somewhere else safe.
  3. Gather needed supplies such as medications, cash and food items. It would be a good idea to have at least three days of supplies no matter where you ride out the storm. Supplies will be limited in the days immediately following the storm. Once debris is cleared, supplies will be more available.

These are just some small steps that can be taken today to make sure you have a plan and are prepared for when a hurricane is heading this way. There are more steps that need to be taken when a hurricane has formed and is on the way. Look for more tips on our blog for how to prepare as the storm is coming.

For more tips on hurricane preparedness you can take a look at Ready.gov.

5 Ideas to Serve Residents in Your Manufactured Home Community

Serving your residents is important. At Newby Management, it’s one of the most important things we do. If you’re at a loss for how to serve residents in your manufactured home community, here at 5 ways our team members go above and beyond in our communities.

1. Holiday Cheer
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The holidays are fast approaching, and as they do we are gearing up for spreading some holiday cheer to our residents. Each year, we pack food bags full of non-perishable items for the needy families in our communities. It’s a simple act, but it helps alleviate some of the stress that comes with the holidays. We also deliver poinsettias to families who could use a little cheer. These are great ideas to begin implementing in your own communities.

2. Involve Residents
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When things are happening in your community, it can be tempting to limit your resident’s knowledge on the topic. At Newby Management, we encourage resident involvement in community issues and happenings. Not only does it help residents feel at ease when changes are being made, it also helps them feel involved. In one of our communities, Camelot Lakes, the team members held a pre-construction party to help prepare residents for what was to come. It was a great way to answer questions and give residents a good feeling about the future.

3. Consider Your Surroundings
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What do we mean by this? Think of the state in which your communities are built. Does it snow? Does it rain a lot? What unique challenges does your state face? In Florida, our manufactured home communities are susceptible to hurricanes. That’s why Newby Management established the Newby Management Emergency Action Team (NEAT) in 2005 to respond to disasters that may occur in our communities. These disasters include hurricanes, fire, tornadoes, flooding and terrorism. The goal for NEAT at the community level is to equip community management to be prepared to deal with disasters when they happen within their communities in a professional and organized manner, that will help protect people and property. In this way, we are serving the residents and meeting their needs.

4. Establish a Servant Heart
serving residents, resident relations, manufactured home communities, rv communities

At Newby Management, we try to encourage all our team members to establish a servant’s heart. This is the most consistent way to serve residents. Having a servant’s heart means serving others without expectations. For example, we don’t serve our residents with the expectation that they never have complaints, refer us new residents or bring baked goods to the office. We do it out of humility, love and respect for those we are called to serve. When you consider serving a blessing, it becomes something you want to do, instead of something you have to do.

5. Do Random Acts of Kindness

manufactured home communities, mobile home communities, serving residents, resident relations

We serve our residents in some many ways every day. Many of them are tangible and business-related. These are expected and required of a management company. What’s unexpected is going above and beyond in service and care. Random acts of kindness are so special because most times they’ll never be traced back to you. When they are, you can remind people to pay it forward. Do you know of a lonely resident’s birthday? Drop a card in their mailbox. See a resident with a really nicely manicured lawn? Stop by a let them know! Have a resident who is always offering to help out? Send them a thank you note. These simple acts are great ways to serve residents, but are also great ways to find yourself doing a lot more smiling.

Recovering in Manufactured Home Communities Post-Hurricane Irma

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Post-Irma Tree Clean Up in Edgewater, FL.

On September 4, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Florida as one of the strongest hurricanes in history pummeled toward the state.

Just four days later, hundreds of thousands of Floridians across the state were under evacuation, making it the state’s largest evacuation on record. Among many of the mandatory evacuations were residents in manufactured homes, which are considered to be highly susceptible to strong winds.

Hurricane Irma was the first time in Newby Management’s history to have every community in the portfolio effected by one hurricane. While some communities had minimal damage, all were effected.

At the beginning of the hurricane season, each community has a packet available for residents. It features shelter listings, a list of items to take during an evacuation and evacuation routes so that residents have a plan.

The Newby Management corporate team began preparations for Hurricane Irma nearly a week prior to landfall. The team watched updates, double checked supplies, and made sure the team had evacuation plans.

3 days out, the Newby Management Emergeny Action (NEAT) was mobilized to begin prepping communities. NEAT  was formed in 2005, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Charley.

NEAT 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 15 times to assist our communities across Florida.

Tpyically, counties issue mandatory evacuations for RV and mobile home communities at least two days prior to a hurricane. While some residents choose to stay, all team members are required to evacuate.

At the home office in Ellenton, the entire team comes together to discuss NEAT deployment strategies for recovery after Irma. Because Irma was so large, our team had to be ready to head to almost any part of Florida following the storm.

There were four teams ready to go to the worst hit areas. From the home office, Newby Management had the CEO, president, IT, regional managers, marketing and training teams, along with the chaplain with boots on the ground for recovery.

As Irma made landfall in Florida, our plans changed with the storm. Todd Newby, the president, and the regional managers stayed in contact to keep the team updated. Once regional managers began hearing from the communities, the latest deployment plans were put into action.

Irma made landfall in many of our communities through Saturday night and into Sunday. Some of the NEAT team was ready to respond as quickly as Monday afternoon.

From Tuesday through the following Monday, there were teams from the home office and sister communities in Lakeland, Fort Myers and east coast areas. Most of he communities had resident volunteers who helped each other, as well as assisted in the clean-up of common areas.

It was a blessing to see our team members and residents come together and serve each other following the hurricane. In one community, there was a couple who couldn’t do physical work, so they grilled hamburgers. In another community, there was a resident who rode around giving out coffee and doubts.

Thanks to the efforts of NEAT, the team and residents, within a week of the hurricane you’d never know there was a disaster in most communities. There are still repairs in some, but largely the communities fared well. The amazing response of the team helped keep everyone safe and make recovery easier for all.

Learn more about NEAT and how Newby Management assists our communities in times of disaster.