Those of us who have lived in Florida most of their lives know that hurricanes are a common occurrence from June to November, otherwise known as hurricane season. It can be difficult and scary to determine how to best prepare for a hurricane, especially if you are a tenant renting an apartment, condo, or home. We’ve put together some of the best ways to prepare yourself and your home for a potential hurricane, so continue reading!
Shutter or Board Up Windows and Doors
One of the most obvious places to start when preparing for a hurricane is to shutter up all windows and doors if possible/necessary. Some property management companies provide shutters for their tenants in case of a hurricane, so be sure to ask if they are provided for your unit, and if so, who would put them up. If you plan on putting up your own shutters, make sure that there are no specific shutters required for your building.
Bring Outdoor Furniture Inside
In order to prepare your outdoor space, you should remove and take as many objects as you can inside. If there are large objects that wont fit in the unit, protect them from the storm by covering them with a tarp and tying them to your porch/patio area.
Roll up Rugs/Remove Items From the Floor
Although it is very difficult to prevent water from getting into your unit, you can reduce the amount of damage by removing items from the floor, along your windows, and around your doors. You may also want to tuck towels under the door and along window sills in case the water surge is minimal enough to prevent it from traveling inside.
Unplug Electrical Devices and Appliances
If you lose power during the storm, be sure to unplug your electronic devices and appliances. Unplugging your devices will help prevent an electrical surge from damaging your devices when the power comes back on.
Create a Hurricane Preparedness Kit
In case the effects of the storm last longer than expected, it is very important to have everything you need to be comfortable for a few days, especially in the case of power outages and flooding. Here are some of the most important things to have in your emergency relief kit:
● First-Aid Kit
● Non-perishable Food Items
● Bottled Water
● Emergency Blankets
● Prescribed Medications/Over the Counter Medications
● Handheld Fans
You might want to download our Tenant Hurricane Preparedness Checklist and print it out so you know exactly what to do as the hurricane approaches. The more you’ve mentally prepared, the readier you will be to act decisively when the time comes.
Park Car in Safe Area and Fill Gas Tank
Park your car as far away as possible from any flooding zones or spots where it can be in danger of debris falling on it, preferably in a stable covered parking structure.
Make Copies of Important Paperwork
Scan and take photos of important documents such as your car insurance, renter’s insurance, health insurance, passport, driver’s license, and any other important documentation. If you have relatives or close friends you can trust, it is also an option to mail them copies or let them know how to access those documents online in an emergency situation.
Report Any Overgrown Tree Branches
While preparing for the storm, check the area around your unit for overgrown tree branches and report them to maintenance. Heavy tree branches could fall on your unit during a storm or damage your personal belongings. If your property manager uses an online maintenance request system, skip that and call them directly to get that taken care of.
Test Your Generator
If you have access to a generator, be sure to verify that it is in good working order in case the storm lasts longer than expected. Along with this, make sure that you have enough gas to operate the generator.
Charge Electronic Devices
This tip should definitely go without saying, but make sure you charge all of your devices in case your power goes out so you can entertain yourself, contact emergency services, or anything else you need to use your devices for. We would also recommend charging a few portable chargers in case your devices die again before the storm is over.
Finally, be sure to bookmark the Central Florida Hurricane Center for the latest updates.
For more tips for Florida renters, check out our resources for renters, and best of luck this hurricane season.