Vacation Rental Owner Tips: Be Ready for Natural Disasters
One of the great joys of going on vacation is getting closer to nature. Chances are that the your rental vacation home’s greatest asset is its proximity to beautiful environmental wonders, like mountains, beaches, or forests far from anywhere. Sadly, with every glorious natural wonder comes the danger of a particular set of natural disasters. A beach house could be hit by floods or hurricanes. Mountain lodges are in danger from winter storms and wildfires. As you’re learning the business of managing your own vacation rental home, you’ll want to make a plan for natural disasters that will protect your investment and keep your renters safe without scaring them away. It can be done. Here are three excellent resources to help you:
Community from HomeAway
We’ve told you before about this incredibly helpful resource. While you’re making plans to protect your vacation home and renters from natural disasters, check out their articles, “Preparing Your Vacation Home for a Natural Disaster” and “Building an Emergency Supply Kit for Your Vacation Rental.” They’ll walk you through the steps of packing a basic first aid kit and other tools and supplies your renters should have on hand in case of an emergency. You’ll also learn how to make sure your insurance policy covers the natural disasters that are possible where your vacation home is, how to add an “acts of God” policy to your rental agreement, how to make an emergency plan for yourself and your renters, and how to alert your renters when needed. They also recommend discussing this — insurance, rental agreement, emergency plans — with your attorney.
FEMA’s Ready.gov Site
To learn more about the types of natural disasters that are likely to affect your particular vacation home, and for more information on building an emergency kit and making plans, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) web site for ordinary citizens, Ready.gov. You can find even more in-depth news and resource information on FEMA’s main site.
The CDC Offers Advice… and Fun!
By now, you may be wondering how you could possibly prepare your potential renters for natural disasters without scaring them away from your beautiful vacation rental home. It can be done. First, explain to them that your home is as safe as any in that vacation spot (safer, since you’ve planned ahead), and disasters are rare, but you want to do everything you can to make sure they’ll have a safe and pleasant stay. Second, send them to this post on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. This page focuses on the disaster so many of us enjoy thinking about: the zombie apocalypse. The post walks readers through building an emergency supply kit, preparing an emergency contact list, planning where to meet if their family gets separated, and knowing several routes they can use to evacuate. The CDC mentions in passing that, once they’re prepared for the zombie apocalypse, they’ll also be ready for more likely disasters like floods, fires, or earthquakes. The CDC continues the theme in the post, “Teachable Moments: Courtesy of The Walking Dead on AMC,” where you (and your renters) can learn how the characters on the show would have fared better if they’d followed the basic rules of preparing for any emergency.