Preparing Your Apartment for Severe Weather

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Sarah Wuenscher
Sep 29, 2021

With Hurricane season in full swing through November, it’s important for renters to have a plan in place before a storm rolls in. Instead of waiting until the hurricane watch alert hits your notifications, we’ve made a list of tips for staying ahead of mother nature!

A ‘hurricane watch’ means that tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours, and a ‘hurricane warning’ means that they are expected within 36 hours.

MOVE YOUR CAR

If your complex has a multi-level parking garage, consider moving your car to a higher floor to avoid potential flood zones. For surface lots, be aware of the surrounding area and do your best to avoid spots likely to be impacted by falling trees, branches, or other debris. If you’re getting low on gas, it’s a good idea to fill up your tank in case of a short-notice evacuation (and queue up your favorite podcast— waiting your turn in those pre-storm gas lines can take a hot sec).

CLEAR OFF YOUR PATIO

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating strong winds—be a good plant parent and bring them inside! Leaving unsecured furniture out to face the elements means your patio setup could end up blown down the street and doing some major damage along the way.

GET READY FOR OUTAGES

Knowing your exits and stair routes is key! Keep in mind that if the power goes out, your elevators and gates won’t operate as usual. If your sense of direction is only so-so, some properties have a site map online or in their office. Snap a photo or print one out ahead of time to have on hand!

  • Gather important documents like your license, birth certificate, insurance, vaccination records, etc., and put them in an easily accessible spot.
  • Fill your bathtubs (or other large containers) with water. If the water supply is shut off, you’ll have some on hand for drinking, cleaning, or flushing.
  • Charge your electronics. Before severe weather is even on the radar, consider investing in a backup charge pack for your devices.
  • Find a flashlight. Most apartment complexes don’t allow candles in the lease agreements, and you don’t want to drain your phone battery by using the light function.
  • Have a small supply of non-perishables on hand. Try your best not to panic and buy out the entire water (or toilet paper) section at HEB—everyone else needs to stay hydrated too! The Texas Disaster Supply Checklist recommends having a 3-day supply.

PREP YOUR PET

Renting with a pet? Make sure supplies like food and medication are stocked enough to last you a few days. If you decide to evacuate, bring your pet along! If it’s not safe for you to stay, it’s not safe for your furry friend either. The American Kennel Club recommends researching pet-friendly shelters and accommodations in advance in case you need to relocate quickly.

GO OVER YOUR RENTERS INSURANCE POLICY

When preparing for a storm, be sure to have your renters insurance policy on hand! Most complexes require you to have insurance when you sign the lease, but if not— we highly recommend going over options with a provider. Among other situations, renters insurance protects your belongings and space in the case of natural disasters. If damage does occur, documentation is key—take as many photos as possible, and gather specific information (like model numbers) on larger ticket items for a smoother process when filing a claim.

As a renter, there can be a gray area between what you’re responsible for and what the property covers when it comes to emergency preparations. Each complex will usually have specific directions and emergency procedures, so be sure to look over your lease agreement and ask your property manager if you have questions about the protocols in place. Most importantly, stay safe out there.

If this list inspired you to look into apartments with multi-level parking garages or huge garden-style tubs, we’re ready to help find you a place that checks those boxes!

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