Condo owners receive ultimatum on emergency plans
By John McPhaul
Consumer Affairs (DACO by its Spanish acronym) Secretary-designate Edan Rivera Rodríguez announced over the weekend that the agency has set Tuesday, June 8, as the last deadline for the island’s condominiums to submit and disclose all information, both to the owners and to certain government agencies, regarding how they plan to deal with emergency situations.
“The emergency plans in the condominiums are key so that, in any eventuality, the owner communities are duly protected,” the DACO secretary said in a written statement. “We know that the situation with the pandemic has greatly delayed decision-making, but days into the hurricane season, it is imperative to have that information. For this reason, we are [setting] a final deadline to comply with the requirements of the law.”
Regarding emergency plans, the official noted that the Condominium Law requires two essential aspects: first, the annual approval of a disaster and emergency plan of which all licensees must be effectively notified; and second, the development of a water and electricity rationing plan in emergency situations that must be reported to DACO, along with contact information.
“The idea of announcing the emergency plan to all licensees is that they have the opportunity to review it in detail and thus know how to prepare or how to act if an eventuality occurs, while the water and electricity rationing plan must comply with the criteria established by DACO through regulations, in order to meet minimum prevention requirements,” Rivera said.
“This is exactly what we are notifying condominiums to comply with, no later than June 8.”
He added that, at the moment, many condominiums have yet to comply with the provisions of the Condominium Law, which also requires that contact information be provided in the event of emergency situations.
“Failure to comply led us to issue an order, by means of which we are giving them this last period to comply with the guidelines,” Rivera said. “Prevention is always going to be the best strategy. That is why we urge those condominiums that have not yet prepared their plans, or that have not informed the owners and all the corresponding agencies, to do so immediately.”
The condominiums must submit their water and electricity rationing plans, as well as the contact information for emergency situations, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The compliance order, 2021-010, is available on the internet page www.daco.pr.gov.