The Role of Property & Facilities Management in Preparing for the “Big One” (earthquake) 1024 by 400

Facilities Management, Property Management

In light of recent calamities in the Philippines such as that of the devastating earthquake in Abra, it is important to put a spotlight on disaster resiliency. The “Big One” has been talked about for a long time and is feared due to the harm it may cause to the country. In line with this, as a building owner, how can you best prepare for events such as these? This is where a facilities manager and a property manager come into the picture. 

When it comes to commercial real estate from buildings and complexes, property and facilities management play a crucial role in a structure’s preparedness in dealing with these forces of nature. Facilities Managers and Property Managers’ main roles include conducting a building check after events like earthquakes and/or fires to ensure that it is safe for everyone on the premises. 

Responsibilities of a Facilities Manager & Properties Manager

Managing the space, Property Managers are expected to know the area better than anyone. In the case of an emergency, they are the ones in charge of defining everyone’s roles and functions in unlikely cases of emergencies, as well as identifying possible vulnerabilities in the area. Facilities Managers are in charge of putting together a preparedness plan, communicating it across all parties involved from managers, occupants, and owners. Prior to any emergencies, they are in charge of running practice scenarios to fool-proof any and all plans of action in the event of a crisis. 

Overall, a structural investigation is an essential part of the roles of both the Property Manager and the Facilities Manager since this tells them crucial information about the property or the facility. It not only helps them assess the foundations, walls, floors, roof types, and the quality of the structural materials, but a structural investigation allows them to evaluate if the general area is safe.

Emergency Response Management (ERM) 

One of the ways a facilities manager can stay on top of these disasters is through Emergency Response Management or ERM. It is a set of documented procedures that explains how the team should respond in any given scenario. It should typically include checklists depending on what type of emergency it is, identifying how resources are to be used and allocated and testing these plans together. 

There are many phases to the ERM, starting with Prevention-Mitigation which is all about taking action to prevent the likelihood of an accident occurring and mitigating this to reduce the possible irreversible physical damage or loss of life. This starts with evaluating any possible hazards and identifying their consequences and documenting them accordingly. 

Preparedness is the next step. This is about creating plans to minimize the said damages previously identified and a big chunk of this comes down to planning and training. The property management and the building’s emergency personnel should be able to respond in an apt and timely manner. 

The actions and efforts used to respond to the event are part of the Response phase. The final step, which is Recovery, is about the ongoing actions needed to restore and reestablish normal operations to achieve business continuity. 

Business Continuity Program (BCP) 

After knowing how to respond in the case of certain scenarios, it is important that there are measures in place to ensure that the occupants, managers, and stakeholders will not suffer greatly from the disruption of their day-to-day lives. 

This is where Business Continuity Planning or BCP comes in. BCP is the process of creating a system that prevents any organization from future threats and helps them easily recover after an emergency. This plan allows businesses and stakeholders to be protected and functional even in the case of an unforeseen event such as an earthquake, a fire, or even floods. 

Finding the right Facilities & Properties Management 

When looking for a facilities & properties management company to handle your real estate, it is important that they are not just good at what they do but that their work speaks for itself. Santos Knight Frank is a renowned real estate services agency that has a great track record of serving clients with services such as occupier services & commercial agency, investment & capital marketsresidential & sales leasing, property marketing, research & consultancy, valuation & appraisal, project management, asset management,  property management, facilities management, technical services & engineering solutions. Just visit our website and speak to our real estate practitioners at

If you want to know more about Real Estate Management, you can also read about The Secret to Every Great Condo Investment: A Good Property Management Company.

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About Santos Knight Frank

The world of real estate can be a difficult place to navigate. Whether property is your investment or a tool that drives your business success, you need a partner who can guide you in every step of the way.

Since 1994, Santos Knight Frank has been guiding Fortune 1000 companies, BPOs, private clients, and institutions in all facets of real estate. We advise companies on their best office, retail, and industrial location, oversee commercial fit-out projects, and manage facilities. We have facilitated over 4 million sqm of office transactions on behalf of clients and managed over 40 million sqm of real estate under our property & facilities management arm.

Our residential brokerage platform and wide collection of bespoke homes allow our private clients to buy, lease, and sell properties within their budget, timeline, and lifestyle.

For landlords and investors, we provide valuations and appraisal, consultancy and research, sales and leasing, and property management services across the Philippines.

Santos Knight Frank is part of the global Knight Frank network of over 384 offices in 51 markets, including the strategically important U.S. partnerships with Cresa (commercial real estate) and Douglas Elliman (residential real estate).

We are locally expert and globally connected, end-to-end and best-in-class – as any great partner in property should be.