You’ve probably seen pictures of houses and businesses being boarded up in preparation for an approaching hurricane or tropical storm. But, there are certain preparations that are unique to apartments.
We’ve gathered some of the most important tips for apartment dwellers who are preparing for an incoming hurricane.
Basic storm preparation
Some guidelines for withstanding a hurricane in an apartment are just like for any other building.
First, you should shutter your windows and doors. In some communities that are in areas prone to hurricane activity, the landlord may supply the shutters and might even have the shutters put up by professionals.
If you have a balcony or outdoor space, bring everything inside your apartment so they don’t become dangerous projectiles when the wind picks up.
You should also think about where in your apartment you’ll stay if conditions become dangerous. When winds are severe, you should avoid being near any outer walls, especially those with windows or doors. An inner-apartment bedroom, bathroom or hallway are likely the safest places in your apartment.
Sometimes apartments on higher floors are not safe at all. Consider asking a neighbor on a lower floor if you could ride out the storm in their apartment or find a safe spot in the lobby or basement of the building.
If conditions become extremely dangerous, you may need to consider going to a shelter. To find your nearest shelter, text SHELTER and your zip code (i.e. SHELTER 12345) to 4FEMA (43362) or download the FEMA mobile app.
Store a surplus of supplies
Part of hurricane apartment preparation is gathering enough supplies to last you through the storm. You should have enough surplus for 10 days of survival. In an apartment with limited storage, it might be tricky to find space for everything. That’s why you should begin preparing as soon as you can.
Water for cleaning or bathing can be stored in bathtubs and sinks in your apartment. You should also save any used water to flush the toilets.
Your dishwasher is a great place to store supplies, if you have one. It’s waterproof and affixed to the structure of your apartment. If you are really pressed for space, try storing supplies behind couches and underneath beds.
Be community minded
As we mentioned earlier, you may want to buddy-up with a neighbor to ride out the storm. But, it’s also important that you know who your neighbors so you can contact them in case of emergency.
Some of your neighbors may need extra help or be more prone to danger. You should do your best to stick with your community and help each other out.
Think about where your car is parked
You may want to park your car in a different location than you typically do. Self-assess the location of your car and determine if it’s likely to be damaged by floods or falling debris.
It might be in your best interest to leave it parked in a safer location away from your apartment, even if you have an assigned spot there.
Find out about insurance coverage
It may seem a little bit premature but knowing what your insurance covers before disaster strikes can actually help you navigate the process more smoothly in case of emergency. If you have renter’s insurance, consult your policy or agency representative to see what is or is not covered.
Some things may be covered by the owners of your apartment so review your lease and talk to the owners to make sure you know what you’ve got.