Don’t Wait for Disaster

By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer & Graphic Designer

With summer comes fun in the sun for many, but also preparing for a season of severe weather for others. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already stated, “Extreme weather events such as heat waves and large storms are likely to become more frequent or more intense,” which directly impacts anyone who works with or owns real estate.

Complexities and Keeping Up

“After each storm effects an area the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program assess and make a determination on how the current building codes are impacted and if any changes or upgrades need to be made to better protect properties,” said Manager and Sales Representative, Joseph Piernas of EXIT Prestige Luxury Realty in Mississippi.

To stay on top of this, Franchisee, Tiffany Marshall and her EXIT Magnolia Coast Realty team rely on training by bringing in builders, inspectors, insurance agents, and vendors from all aspects to help educate the office on ever-changing requirements.

Preparedness and Homeownership

Being ready differs for each event, but some guidance is universal:

  • Keeping a well-stocked emergency kit with essentials
  • Having proper insurance coverage for emergencies
  • Keeping important documents in a safe place that’s easy to access in a hurry
  • Properly preparing and protecting your property when and if possible
  • Evacuating according to instructions to avoid the event if/when possible

Having narrowly missed hurricane Katrina at the age of 19, Tiffany knows too well the catastrophic and lasting impacts severe weather can have on businesses, communities, and governments who deal with cumulative effects. Generally, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to do their due diligence when purchasing, high-risk area or not, but Tiffany aims to go above and beyond at her office. She helps clients by:

  • Advocating for home inspections as part of a purchase especially in storm prone areas to be sure any previous damage was fixed properly and by a professional
  • Connecting clients with an insurance agent who explains the terms of policies to ensure they have the best possible coverage in the event of a storm
  • Helping with the installation of post-sale upgrades like hurricane shutters to ensure clients are protected

When Disaster Strikes

Since 2017 EXIT Realty Corp. International has donated $1M in relief funds to areas hardest hit by disasters, in addition to the many EXIT office’s charitable initiatives both via The Spirit of EXIT Dollar-For-Dollar Matching Program or independently. Here are some ways EXIT associates provide aid to clients as well as their own:

  • Emailing/posting on social about storm preparedness, vital supply info, or mandatory evacuation orders and routes
  • Becoming a Crisis Knowledge Management advisor through CKM Solutions Group
  • Having contingency, communication, and support plans in place for family as well as office staff
  • Assessing the needs of clients and other businesses to help where possible  
  • Purchasing supplies for delivery or pick up from office locations when possible

For this and other great stories about agent and office successes, check out The EXIT Achiever, EXIT’s corporate magazine online today at exitrealty.com/achiever or text ACHIEVER to 85377 for a mobile friendly version.

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