COVID-19: Preparing a building for worst case scenario
When the first known cases of COVID-19 were identified and the public was informed via every news channel available, is it fair to say we may have thought, or prayed, that this will never happen to us?
It’s the most natural reaction.
So when Strata Title Management’s Community Manager, Sandra Ciccia, received the phone call to inform her that an owner had tested positive in one of her commercial buildings in Sydney, her first reaction was naturally one of *$^#!
Seconds later her 13 years of strata experience took over those initial thoughts and she immediately went into action mode.
Mind you, this was the first reported case for the STM, so Sandra was in unchartered coronavirus territory. What she did know was the Company had an emergency action plan and now was the time to test it.
Time for action
Time was of the essence and communication to all owners, residents and contractors was the priority. Next was the external communication to the government’s health registrar to report the known case.
The Committee was advised of the urgency for a deep commercial and professional grade cleansing of the premises and arrangements were made immediately.
STM’s certified contractor was onsite within 24 hours to perform the clinical clean in accordance with the ministry of health guidelines.
As common property was in shut down until the cleansing was complete, our contractors were quick on the scene, with minimal disruption to owners and occupiers.
You don’t know what it’s like until you’ve experienced it
As with most of the world, Sandra and STM had never encountered COVID-19 and was learning the seriousness of the virus from newsfeeds and external third parties each day.
She knew the Company’s emergency response plan was available and it was time to put this plan into action.
Being live in the situation, according to Sandra, your first thought is to just shut this virus down to prevent further outbreaks.
“I’m fortunate to have a great relationship with the owners, strata committee and it’s tenants. The responses I received from the owners, occupiers and contractors when I informed them of the positive COVID-19 case were quite mixed.
“Some were a little panicked, but after reassuring them the action plan had already been implemented, most were just grateful they were informed so quickly and relieved I had it under control.
“If I’m being honest, being strong for my clients knowing they were counting on me more than ever before made me feel even stronger.
“I’d never dealt with anything like this before but I’m their trusted partner and was determined not to let them down. It was a learning curve for me too. I was also being guided by external experts I’d never dealt with before, between us all we had the building back up and operating with 48 hours,” said Sandra.
It just goes to show that when you have a company working for you with action plans in place ready for unknown events, and those plans are put into action and they work, the confidence owners have in you, your work and your company magnifies even further.
For Sandra and STM, the greatest form of flattery was the positive response from she received from owners and the confidence owners and tenants had in Sandra’s ability in handling STM’s first coronavirus case.
Learning from this event helped to refine our action plans across the entire company.
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