2018 has been the most destructive wildfire season in California on record. The devastating California wildfires have destroyed tens of thousands of private homes and hundreds of commercial structures, displacing residents across the state. As of November 19, more than 90 people have died and nearly 700 are still missing.
How will the fires impact the multifamily apartment industry? A certified senior ecologist and professor said the industry will not only be directly affected by the fires, but it could feel the effects for years to come. Most natural disasters will displace homeowners while they repair their houses, however the rate of rebuilding is much lower with wildfires. Because the fires have wiped out entire towns, including apartment communities, many residents may never return due to the lack of finances needed to rebuild or to afford rental properties. For those who remain in the state, property values may decrease because of how scarred the industry and environment are. As a result, it can negatively impact the quality of life in California.
Property managers will also feel the heavy weight of the fires and not just with the physical damage and loss. The fires can also impact an owner’s emotional state, which could stall their desire to repair and rebuild their structures. The California Apartment Association feels it is important for local and state governments to streamline rebuilding efforts. This includes removing hurdles in the permit process and issuing state legislation for assistance.
Because natural disasters are often hard to predict, it’s crucial for residents and property management to have a plan in place. This can include creating a checklist and knowing where evacuation routes are located. A proactive security solution can also benefit a multi-family residential property in times like this. Remote security operators can watch properties in real time and update managers and owners about their property’s condition, including potential dangers and hazards.
Not only have these recent wildfires been deadly, they have been the most destructive ones on record. Right now, the displaced California residents need shelter and food. Eventually, they will need housing and that will be difficult in a state that is already facing a severe shortage.
If you would like more information about proactive security for your California multifamily apartment property, contact us here.