More than Management: Weathering Storm Derecho

This year has been a challenging year for property managers worldwide as they navigate the “new normal” onset by COVID-19. This pandemic has caused property managers to discover innovative ways to continue to provide quality customer service to their residents.

In the wake of it all, Cardinal Capital Management’s (Cardinal) property management team in Iowa were faced with another obstacle. Earlier in August, storm Derecho swept across the state of Iowa at wind speeds of 100 miles per hour. It left a trail of trees piled six to 10 feet high along the roads, flattened farmland, caused power outages, as well as substantial damage to homes and businesses.

Derecho is described as a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms with hurricane and tornado-like winds and rain.

In the cities of Cedar Rapids and Marion are two senior apartment buildings (a combined total of 108 units) managed by Cardinal. The devastation of this storm damaged both properties and left residents without power. In addition to being without light in their apartments, residents were unable to preserve perishable foods, refrigerate medications like insulin, access the elevator, or charge their cell phones.

Despite their own homes being damaged and without electricity, Cardinal’s property management team made the resident’s needs and safety a priority. The team grilled residents’ meat to prevent it from going to waste, purchased ice to help residents chill perishable foods and medications and used their vehicles as a power source to charge residents’ cell phones. They ensured residents had access to Meal on Wheels and performed (and are currently performing) daily wellness checks on residents who have remained in the apartment buildings. The team secured approval for the use of a generator to temporarily restore power and are continually working to utilize resources to get both properties fully functional.

Cardinal is proud to recognize Karen Tellin, Service Coordinator, Carol Rath, Property Manager, Chuck Hartson, Maintenance, and Dave Young, Maintenance for their innovative property management during storm Derecho and prioritizing the care of their residents.

On Monday, August 17, 2020, President Donald Trump approved Iowa’s Disaster Declaration.