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The State of Florida is no stranger to hurricanes and other natural disasters. The question is not whether communities, homes and families will be impacted by a windstorm event, but when.

Our Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery Guide is designed to assist community association boards and managers to prepare themselves, their members, and their property for the approach as well as the aftermath of a serious storm or other disaster. Our attorneys, many of whom have been representing community associations in Florida for over 20 years and are board certified by the Florida Bar, have assisted in all phases of planning and preparing, as well as recovering and rebuilding.

The Plan – Identifying the Potential Consequences of a Disaster

The first step toward developing and implementing a disaster plan is identifying the potential consequences of a disaster. The second step is to develop and implement a plan to mitigate the impact of a disaster to the fullest extent possible.

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What Will the Damage Cost?

A well-designed disaster plan will include safeguards against future risk which are designed to minimize economic and property loss, as well as the loss of human life.

It is dangerous to ever become complacent about hurricanes when you live or own property in Florida. Knowing that disasters can occur and being prepared to deal with them will certainly minimize damages and promote a speedy recovery.

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Association Emergency Powers

Florida Statutes provide boards with broad emergency powers in response to damage, injury or public contagion caused by or anticipated in connection with an emergency for which “a state of emergency” is declared. The Governor of the State of Florida must have declared a “state of emergency” in order for an association to utilize the statutorily prescribed emergency powers. The specific Statutory provisions regarding the emergency powers can be found in section 718.1265 Florida Statutes for condominium associations, section 720.316 Florida Statutes for homeowners’ associations, and section 719.128 Florida Statutes for cooperative associations. While each version of these emergency powers is very similar, there are a few subtle differences which are discussed below. It is important to note that when exercising emergency powers, there should be a rational relationship between the action undertaken and the disaster itself and that emergency powers may not be exercised unless and until the statutory trigger has occurred.

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Association Adjusting is a licensed and insured public adjusting firm led by Joseph “Joe” Connelly (#E157037). Mr. Connelly has served as Executive Board Officer for the Florida Association of Public Adjusters (FAPIA).

Recognized as an authority in the community association industry, Association Adjusting has the expertise and experience to help community associations achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Our team of public adjusters, led by Mr. Connelly, provides clients with only the highest level of professionalism and excellence – whether you’re dealing with a claim that stems from hurricane damage, water damage, theft, fire, mold, roof leak, or any other type of calamity, our singular goal is to ensure your interests are always protected.

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Useful Contacts Before, During & After a Storm or Disaster

DISASTER CHECKLIST: Quick Reference Sheet


Did you know Becker provides over 200 educational classes per year throughout the State of Florida on a variety of topics ranging from board member certification to compliance, and everything in between? As a service to the community and industry, we are pleased to now offer some of our most popular classes online!

To view our entire class roster, visit:


5 Key Advantages of Hiring a Public Insurance Adjuster

by Joseph Patrick Connelly
Public Adjuster, Association Adjusting

Have you suffered damage to your home? Do you need help understanding and adjusting your insurance claim? A public insurance adjuster can help you obtain the most money possible for the damage done to your home. Further, as a homeowner, under large amounts of stress, you may not have the knowledge, expertise, time, or even the energy to handle such a complex claim.

Here are just a few advantages of hiring a public insurance adjuster:

  1. Helps You Understand Your Policy
    Insurance policies are complex documents that can be hard to interpret if you’re not an expert. A public insurance adjuster can offer the expertise needed to decipher the language of the insurance policy. They can help you understand what options you have in order to make a proper claim under your insurance contract. Public adjusters will provide these services for a normal contingency fee. A public adjuster uses their experience and skill set to secure a proper claim settlement to conduct repairs as a result of the claim event. Bringing your property back to ‘like, kind, quality.”
  2. Saves You Time
    A public adjuster will organize and manage your claim for you, whether it’s a claim for a flood, fire, smoke, wind and hurricane damage, or other disasters that can damage your home. This way, you’ll spend less time dealing with claims issues and more time handling other priorities you have as a homeowner. Indeed, you can get on with your daily life and leave the insurance adjusting to a professional.
  3. Resolves Your Claim Faster
    Handling an insurance claim yourself can come with many complications. Corresponding with your insurance company and gathering the necessary paperwork to resolve your claim can be quite time-consuming and may interfere with your other commitments. Because public adjusters possess the knowledge and expertise to understand insurance claims, are experienced in processing necessary paperwork, and are skilled at using the proper language to communicate with your insurance carrier, your insurance claim could be processed faster.
  4. Protect Your Rights as a Policyholder
    Unlike company insurance adjusters who work for large companies, public insurance adjusters work on behalf of you, the policyholder. They have no relationship with the insurance company. The only time a public insurance adjuster corresponds with the insurance company is when it’s regarding the policyholder’s insurance claim. Your public adjuster will handle the necessary meetings, e-mails, phone calls, and paper documents involved with your claim. Public adjusters help clients negotiate appropriate settlements with their insurer. Thus, if your claim is denied, a public adjuster understands your insurance company’s expectations and could use their skillset if you need to take a more aggressive approach to obtain appropriate claim settlements.
  5. Ensures Fair Value for Your Claim
    The Office of Program and Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPAGGA) conducted a study in the state of Florida, which showed that public adjusters negotiate up to a 747% larger settlement (before removing the contingency payment) from insurance companies for commercial business and homeowner insurance property loss claims than the insurance company was planning to pay out. This shows how important it is for homeowners to consult with a public insurance adjuster, as they can help them receive as much as possible from their insurance claim.

Learn More About Hiring a Public Insurance Adjuster

Are you in need of a public insurance adjuster? Association Adjusting can help you, as a homeowner, obtain a fair settlement for damages. We understand that insurance claims can be stressful and we strive to remove that stress from our valued clients. Contact us today and let us help you file an insurance claim and secure the proper settlement you deserve and are entitled to.

Provider #0000811 | Course #9630113 | 1 OPP or 1 ELE Credit

Is your community prepared in the event that a hurricane strikes through your city? In this special course we will go over practical tips for developing and implementing a disaster recovery plan for your community.

Managers and board members will learn:

  • Steps to take to protect life and property
  • Recover and post event steps
  • The ins and outs of contracting before and after the hurricane
  • How to document a claim and updates.

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Important Safety Tips for Generator Use

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Never use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially enclosed area, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in the home.
  • Follow the instructions that come with your generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.
  • Protect yourselves and your neighbors by positioning your generator in front of your garage with the muffler facing street side. Positioning the generator in back of the house is not recommended because of the increased potential of CO leakage into your house and those of others.
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The CO alarms should be certified to the requirements of the latest standards for CO alarms {UL2034, IAS6-96, or CSA 6.19.01}.

Eliminate Electrical Hazards

  • Keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. To protect from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Dry your hands before touching the generator.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tear and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.
  • NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This extremely dangerous practice presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It will, also, bypass some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.
  • If you must connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install the appropriate equipment in accordance with local electrical codes. Or check with your utility company to see if it can install an appropriate power transfer switch.
  • For power outages, permanently installed stationary generators or solar battery packs are better suited for providing backup power to the home. An overloaded portable generator can result in overheating or stressing the generator components, possibly leading to a generator failure.

Prevent Fires

  • Never store fuel for your generator inside your home or garage. Storage of gasoline should always be outside. The fumes from the gas tanks are flammable and could ignite. Do not store gasoline near a gas grill.
  • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

Reprinted courtesy of Barbara Zee and H.E.R.E. (Hurricane Emergency Resident Effort)

Becker Hurricane Recovery Team

Joseph E. Adams
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Donna DiMaggio Berger
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
James Robert Caves
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Jane L. Cornett
Stuart Office Co-Managing Shareholder
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Rosa M. de la Camara
305.262.4433 or 305.260.1011
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Kenneth S. Direktor
561.655.5444 or 954.965.5050
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Kevin L. Edwards
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Jennifer Biletnikoff
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Florence King
Attorney at Law
Sanjay Kurian
Ft. Myers Office Managing Shareholder
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Steven H. Mezer
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Board Certified Real Estate Lawyer
David G. Muller
Naples Office Managing Shareholder
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
Aaron Pruss
Board Certified Construction Lawyer
Jay Roberts
Ft. Walton Beach Office Managing Shareholder
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer
David H. Rogel
305.262.4433 or 305.260.1015
Board Certified Community Association Lawyer