Natural disasters such as tornados and hurricanes are a fact of life in certain regions. Knowing how to prepare your apartment for a hurricane can make a big difference in your safety and belongings.
First, shutter your windows and doors if you live in an area prone to hurricane activity. If your landlord does not already have a plan in place, call them. They may offer to provide storm shutters or supplies.
The Height of the Apartment
Natural disasters like tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes can make living in an apartment feel even more dangerous. As a result, it is important to be aware of the risks that these events pose and prepare for them accordingly.
The height of your apartment plays a big role in determining the safety of your apartment during hurricanes. This is especially true if the hurricane is predicted to bring heavy flooding. During hurricanes with heavy flooding, it is best to stay on the lowest floor of the apartment and evacuate if you feel unsafe.
However, if the hurricane is not expected to bring floods, it is safe to stay on the top floor of your apartment. This will give you a better chance of evacuating if necessary.
High-rise apartments are often prone to swaying during hurricanes, so you may hear your chandelier twirling or sliding doors flexing during the storm. This is normal for high-rise apartments that are well-engineered, said Bill O’Donnell, a structural engineer with DeSimone Consulting Engineers in Miami. This swaying is actually a good thing, as it can allow people to escape from their units in case the building is damaged. It can also help people find their way out if they are trapped inside.
The Floor You Are On
The floor you are on can make a major impact on the safety of your home or apartment. For example, if you are in a high rise building, your best bet is to stay on the lowest floor possible (no, we don’t mean the bottom of the stairs). If you are in a low-lying area, such as along a river or near a coastline, you are better off taking refuge higher up the property line. This is a good reason to have an emergency plan in place. Keeping yourself safe is a top priority during hurricane season and year round in many coastal regions.
The Type of Apartment
The type of apartment you live in has a huge effect on the safety of your home. The height, floor you are on and the standards put into place all affect how safe your apartment is.
Studio apartments, for example, are small spaces that combine living and sleeping areas in one room. They can be a great option for those who are moving to a new area and need a place to live before they find their first permanent residence.
Other types of apartment include condominiums, townhouses and houses. Condos are rented from the individual owner of the unit, while townhouses and houses are a series of attached single-family homes that can be leased or owned.
These types of buildings are typically smaller and more affordable than other apartments. However, it is important to know that these buildings may not be as sturdy in the face of hurricanes and tornadoes.
You will also need to decide whether or not you want to evacuate in a hurricane. Some cities will require mandatory evacuations to protect people from harm. Others will offer shelters to residents who can’t leave their buildings for fear of getting caught in the storm.
Regardless of what you decide, it’s important to get prepared for the next hurricane. By preparing for the weather, you can stay safe and save time in the event of an emergency.
If you are renting, ask your landlord about plans for securing your windows and doors before the hurricane strikes. They may be able to provide shutters or supplies.
Another important thing to do is move any outdoor furniture, potted plants or grills to a safer location inside your apartment, such as a closet or hall. Heavy winds can easily lift these items and toss them at you or other apartment dwellers, making them a risky projectile during a hurricane.
You might be able to secure plastic or heavy blankets over your windows and doors, but this isn’t as strong as a good set of hurricane shutters.
You’ll also want to stock up on food and water for your apartment before a hurricane hits. You should also pack a bag of prescription medications, if you need them. These will help you survive in the event of a storm and keep you healthy as well.
The Standards Put Into Place
Hurricanes are a natural occurrence in many areas, and responsible apartment community management has put several standards into place to ensure that their apartments are as safe as possible during the storm season. These include having the correct type of windows, having the proper amount of insurance and being prepared for evacuation.
One of the first things you should do to make your apartment as safe as possible during a hurricane is to have shutters installed on all doors and windows. These are a great way to protect yourself from the winds and also save money.
Another safety measure that is very important to take is to make sure you store all of your valuables in a secure place during the storm. This will help you stay safe from burglars. You should also check your apartment’s insurance coverage and make sure that it includes hurricanes as a covered event.
Keeping your apartment clean and well maintained is crucial during hurricanes. This will keep the interiors of your apartment free from fungus and mold that can be a common result of the weather. You should also make sure that your water supply is not cut off during a hurricane.
In addition, you should make sure that you have plenty of emergency supplies stored in your apartment. This includes bottled water, canned foods, batteries, flashlights and other items that will help you escape a hurricane safely.
You should also have a copy of your apartment’s property plan on hand in case there is an emergency and the fire department needs to enter the building. This will allow them to quickly locate exits, the alarm pulls and firefighting equipment. This will cut response time in half and shave critical seconds off of the process.
It’s also very important to communicate with your neighbors and property manager in the event of an emergency, especially during a hurricane. This will allow you to get the most up-to-date information on where the storm is headed and what safety measures you should take in order to be safe.