When Mama Isn't Happy... | National Apartment Association

When Mama Isn't Happy...

Mother Nature is a heartless woman. She doesn’t take our plans into account, or even think about how much we still have on our property to-do lists before she unleashes chaos onto our schedules. Over the past few years there have been several times I’ve been at her mercy and I have decided that she must be obeyed. 

Last year my town was hit with the first snow storm in a long time to occur during a work day, stranding many—myself included—where they didn’t want to be. I’ve also been in Ohio where sudden snow and freezing rain made it an adventure to just scrape off the windows and literally dig the car out of the parking spot. 

Upon reflection, during both of these events I ended up being fine, safe and warm. I was also able to stay that way—and stay put—as the maintenance staff was on hand to keep operations running. When Mother Nature beckons, we need service technicians to leave the comfort of their homes, possibly for a couple of days, to ensure residents are safe and warm.

This is one aspect of maintenance that is sometimes disregarded; the unforeseen emergency issue. Mama nature doesn’t hand out a schedule of upcoming storms and adverse weather so we can’t budget for the tornado or blizzard. 

We can, however, be as ready as possible. Here are some suggestions that may not have been considered before:

  1. Have an extra complete uniform (including undergarments) for each staff member stored at the property during seasons that may cause a day or more to be spent from home. 
  2. Double-check that the emergency contact list has every staff members’ contact information, including cell phone numbers. I’ve had to call a leasing professional who lived onsite to reset a breaker for a resident to prevent freezing when I couldn’t make it to the property.
  3. Be aware of local weather predictions and have supplies ready as needed for expected conditions. In colder climates, it is a good idea to have several push-fit fittings on hand in all the various pipe sizes the property has to deal with frozen and broken pipes.
  4. Network with contacts that can help make decisions regarding supplies and preparation. Quite frequently a contractor or vendor will have insight as to what others in your community are doing and can make suggestions.

One final request; during the time of year when mama calls most frequently in your area of the country—hurricane, tornado, blizzard, etc.—please  think of the lonely maintenance technician who will be braving the storm to ensure residents are safe, dry and warm.