Are You Prepared for an Emergency?
Little over a year has passed since an oil spill devastated many parts of the Refugio and Gaviota coastline, just west of Santa Barbara. A year on, the very same area faced yet another disaster entirely different from the preceding year, but equally as terrifying. The Sherpa Fire, as it became known, ended up devastating over 8,000 acres of land west of Goleta, and came as a haunting reminder of the devastation caused by the Tea Fire and the Jesusita Fire in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
These recent events got us thinking; how would your business fare in the event of a natural disaster in Santa Barbara? The reality is that the area could be vulnerable to a variety of hazards, such as wildfires, coastal floods, flash floods and landslides, earthquakes and oil spills. Some of these could impact your personal property and belongings, yet others could reduce the flow of tourists, cruise ships and seasonal visitors to the area along with business partners and clients commuting from out of town.
We put our heads together and came up with a list of our top five things you can do to be prepared in the event of an emergency. If you don’t already have some of these tips in place, we strongly recommend you implement them for your business.
Review Your Insurance Coverage – Damage to your contents and trade fixtures are not covered under the landlord’s insurance policy. Your lease specifies the types of insurance and the minimum coverage amounts which you, as lessee, are required to carry. If you have questions about whether or not you are in compliance with your lease requirements, or whether the insurance you currently have is adequate for your needs, contact your insurance broker and ask them to review your lease requirements and your coverage amounts. Make sure you understand what exclusions apply (for example, flood and earthquake coverage are often excluded and require separate insurance policies).
Prepare for Power Outages – Fires, floods and earthquakes all pose a threat to the Santa Barbara area losing power for long periods of time. It is important that you review your emergency systems/processes in place for your business, such as a computer battery back-up for times when power is not available to your premises. Alternative power solutions, such as back-up generators, may also be a good solution for some tenants. Outage information is often updated directly by Southern California Edison on their website.
Review Emergency Procedures With Your Staff – Each tenant will have different needs and concerns when an emergency occurs. Discussing these emergency procedures ahead of time with your employees is recommended.
Get to Know Your Property Manager – In the wake of an emergency, a call to LYNX might be the first you need to make, especially if there is damage to the building or your personal property. Make sure you know who you need to contact and how to get hold of them. Make sure we also have your most up-to-date contact information too and let us know of any personnel changes within your business that we need to know of.
Report Damage and Request Maintenance – We try our best to inspect our properties on a routine basis, but please do not assume we catch everything. Let us know of any maintenance needs you may have by submitting a maintenance request through your tenant portal. If you have not set-up your tenant portal, you can request an activation link by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
LYNX Management, Inc.