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CAI Educates Homeowners on Potential Threat of Wildfires and Natural Disasters

7/1/2016  -  Falls Church, VA

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Community Associations Institute (CAI), an international membershiporganization dedicated to fostering vibrant, competent, and harmonious common-interest communities published "Where There's Smoke," an article in Common Ground™ magazine, detailing how increased vegetation growth and land development is spurring the threat of wildfires to community associations.   

The article further examines how community associations are taking action to reduce the risk of wildfires in more than 300,000 homeowners and condominium associations nationwide.

According to the article, The National Fire Protection Association has administered the voluntary Firewise Communities program, which has developed guidelines for communities vulnerable to wildfires.

Although wildfires most often occur in Western and Southwestern states, few regions in the U.S. are entirely immune. More than 10 million acres were burned by wildfires in 2015a record numberaccording to the Insurance Information Institute. Understanding the risks is key.  

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made. Wildfires are one of many natural disasters that may become a presidentially declared disaster, therefore qualifying for disaster relief funds from FEMA. 

"Homeowners associations and condominium communities impacted by presidentially declared disasters are often precluded from FEMA assistance due to FEMA's narrow interpretation of their regulations," said CAI Chief Executive Officer Thomas Skiba, CAE. Skiba added, "There is an appalling inequity in disaster recovery resources from the federal government between neighborhoods governed by community associations and those that are not. CAI is working with Congressional Representatives Steve Israel (D-NY), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and Mark Sanford (R-SC) to rectify this inequity."  

CAI encourages community associations to work with their local municipality and state emergency management agency to qualify for relief funding, and to contact FEMA directly to ask for guidance regarding how their community may receive disaster relief assistance. For more information and resources, visit www.caionline.org/fema.

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Community Associations Institute
Community Associations Institute (CAI) is a national membership organization dedicated to fostering vibrant, competent, and harmonious common-interest communities. Founded in 1973, CAI and its 60 chapters provide education, tools, and resources to the volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them. CAI's 34,000 members include community association volunteer leaders (homeowners), professional association managers and management firms, and other professionals who provide products and services to community associations. Our vision is reflected in community associations that become better—even preferred—places to call home. For more information, visit www.caionline.org.


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