‘Tis the season for holiday shopping and people love the convenience of ordering online. Avoiding the crowds and shopping from the comfort of your couch is an easy and appealing way to save time and get your gifts ordered all in one place. Whether you’re having your items shipped to your house or sent directly to the recipient, this day and age homeowners need to be on the lookout for individuals who steal packages from properties - also known as "porch pirates."
Anything can happen! From a winter storm to a heat wave, natural disaster to a building collapse, it's important to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in your homeowners association and encourage homeowners to do the same. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Ready Campaign, think first about the basics of survival—fresh water, food, clean air and heat.
Halloween is a kid’s delight. It’s a blast to dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, attend parties and most of all, eat a lot of candy. At the same time, Halloween can be scary for parents. Costumes can be dangerous, too much candy can be sickening and walking around at night can be risky, even in your homeowners association community.
A homeowners association provides a great neighborhood for people to be active, especially as the warm weather sets in and they can be outdoors for much of the day. It’s important to set bike safety rules so homeowners are as protected as possible while riding their bikes in the neighborhood.
Homeowner associations, like most organizations, have adopted information technology for everything from accounting and bookkeeping to email and other forms of communication such as preparation of documents and presentations, etc. However, HOA board members and their management staff must recognize and address the inherent risks in modern electronic technology, especially data breaches & server hacks that compromise information the HOA is responsible for keeping private.
As the summer travel season approaches, people will often be traveling out of town to spend time with extended family or take a much-needed vacation. This could mean more empty homes than usual in your homeowner's association. There are precautions that your HOA board can encourage members to take to provide that homes are not enticing to thieves, susceptible to fire, and the Association's crime rate be kept at a minimum.
Natural disasters affect thousands of people every year, and with the increased risk of severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and tornadoes these days, it’s a good idea to think about having an emergency plan in place. Consider preparing an emergency plan now before it’s needed.
Some homeowners associations experience a high volume of graffiti within their neighborhoods. The association should be monitoring these incidents and should immediately remove graffiti from common areas when this happens. Members are encouraged to do the same with their property, as well as taking steps to deter vandals in the neighborhood.
Celebrating the 4th of July might look different this year. If you were planning on traveling to visit friends and family, taking a vacation, or hosting you're annual block party plans may have been canceled. But that doesn't mean you can't stick close to home and still barbecue, set up some water play for the kids, and re-imagine fun activities instead of fireworks in your homeowners association - all why practicing safe social distancing of course! If you’re an HOA board member, remind residents of the following information.
This is a guest post by: Drew Smithfield, a freelance safety and security writer.
Some of the best security advocates you can find are just yards away from your home – they're your neighbors. Introducing yourself to your neighbors and establishing a relationship with them not only helps deepen your ties to your homeowners association community but also helps increase the security of your family and home.