Tropical Storm Isaac: Storm preparations for foreclosed properties

Impact 5 report

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - They are eyesores in your neighborhood: abandoned properties and foreclosures.

Some look untouched and unprepared for hurricane season.  Many with overgrown landscaping, and no sign of storm shutters.

So who is responsible for making sure bank-owned properties are ready for a storm?

It's the banks and its network of real estate agents.

Bob Graeve is a REALTOR with Illustrated Properties.  

"We're watching Channel 5 news and weather forecast," Graeve said.

Illustrated Properties oversees about 100 real estate owned properties for various banks at any given time.

"The banks direct us as to how to secure the property. If there's hurricane shutters, we have servicing companies or sub-contractors that will put them up," Graeve said.

Agents also remove for sale signs and check for other things around the house.

"We do that same preparation that any normal homeowner would do.  If there is any debris or anything outside the house that could be flying missiles," Graeve said.

A majority of the homes don't have storm shutters according to Graeve, but don't expect to see those homes boarded up.

"As far as bringing in a truck load of plywood in to secure each and every house, that may not be feasible," Graeve said.

A Wells Fargo spokesman said in a statement: "We stop short of asking them to board up the house so as not to deplete valuable resources like plywood and nails when area residents need these resources."

But the community can still get involved.

"If neighbors see debris laying around they might want to take it up to protect their property but most of the time that's already been done by the banks," Graeve said.

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