Most Floridians know that our real "hurricane season" begins around the time that thoughts turn to football and our students returning to school. This year is no different as we have been following the progress of Tropical Storm Erika.
Earlier today, Florida's governor declared a state of emergency. While the path and intensity of Erika remains very uncertain, this is a very good opportunity for a few reminders:
- Florida statutes grant certain emergency powers to the board of directors of condominium, cooperative, and mandatory homeowners associations in response to damage caused by an event for which a state of emergency is declared. Managers and board members should review both the appropriate statute and the association's governing documents for guidance in the event that any emergency actions need to be taken.
- Residents with pets should have already determined what shelters in their area will accept pets as many shelters will not do so.
- Finally, as I have written before, if and when a mandatory evacuation order is entered for your locale, residents and their guests should leave the community. Unless the community's clubhouse is a certified hurricane shelter, no one should be using the clubhouse to "ride out" the storm.
The National Hurricane Center is currently posting full updates on Erika every six hours and interim updates approximately three hours after a full update. If and when Erika approaches Florida's coastline, these updates will probably occur more frequently.
Now is the time to make preparations and to be alert and aware. Stay safe!