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‘Blind leading the blind’ for PM in natural disaster zone

24 April 2015 Elyse Perrau

A business caught in the horrific NSW storms has been struggling to contact flood-hit properties and continue trading without full internet connections.

A business caught in the horrific NSW storms has been struggling to contact flood-hit properties and continue trading without full internet connections.

Property Management HQ is in the Hunter region, which has been declared a natural disaster area after a battering by thunderstorms bringing heavy rain and cyclonic winds earlier this week.

Director Kelley-Ann Seaton told Residential Property Manager yesterday that although its own premises are undamaged, the state of its managements is unclear and about 70 per cent of its rent roll is still without power. Mobile service only began returning to some areas yesterday and is still patchy. 

“We have  no email and no server; we are kind of like the blind leading the blind,” Ms Seaton said.

“At the moment we are just trying to ring our tenants to ask how they are faring.”

Ms Seaton said a suburb where they manage a large number of properties has been completely cut off by flood waters. 

“We also have some tenants who were out and about and can’t get home.”

Ms Seaton said the business constantly updates and exports its contact lists, which has been a silver lining in the dire circumstances.

“We are literally getting an owner list out and a tenant list out and ringing every single one of them and just saying, ‘how are you going?’” she said.

“It got to the point where we rang about 20 people and we were getting nobody, so now we are just copying and pasting texts bit by bit because we still have no server and no internet.” 

Ms Seaton said it has been very time-consuming, with each staff member taking two or three pages of the rent roll to contact. 

Her aim is to contact one person from each suburb so she can garner information about how that particular region is holding up. 

Ms Seaton said it is very important to be proactive rather than reactive when a natural disaster strikes.

“It has just been a matter of putting a disaster system in place,” she said. “We will certainly use this plan if we need it again.” 

 

‘Blind leading the blind’ for PM in natural disaster zone
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