Natural disasters can hit anytime, anyplace, which includes your apartments. Whether or not your apartment is safe during hurricanes depends on various factors.
If you live in the upper and outside units of the building, it is not that safe. However, living below on the ground floor does not entirely protect you either.
All in all, it is safer than being out in the open. However, there are ways to make your apartment safer, which this guide discusses.
Apartment Safety during Hurricanes
The answer to whether apartments are safe during hurricanes is not that simple. It truly depends on a number of factors.
The factors that impact apartment safety during hurricanes include the following:
The Severity of the Hurricane
There are few storms that hit throughout the year, but some can be severe. You must thus first figure out how destructive the hurricane will be.
Severe hurricanes can do a fair amount of damage to your apartment. This is why evacuating or being prepared is often necessary.
You should get in touch with the local sheriff’s office or the weather informant. Ask them how severe the predicted hurricane will be.
After this, you can decide what you should do.
Your Apartment Floor
The floor you live on can make a significant difference to the level of safety during a hurricane. However, this also depends on the type and severity of the hurricane.
If the hurricane is predicted to bring heavy flooding, staying on the bottom floor is dangerous. On the other hand, if it has severe winds, staying on the top floor can be potentially harmful.
This is because you might need to evacuate, and doing so is not easy when you live right at the top. Therefore, be prepared for evacuation beforehand.
How Prepared You Are
Perhaps the most crucial thing for apartment owners when a hurricane is about to strike is being prepared. This can truly make a world of difference to your safety.
Being prepared can be significantly helpful when you know a hurricane is approaching. However, you don’t really know when the hurricane is coming in some cases.
In situations like these, you must be prepared for the hurricane even when there is no sign. Once you take these precautions, your apartment will be much safer during a hurricane.
Type of Apartment You Have
Just like the height of the apartment and which floor you are on, the type of apartment is also necessary. This determines the level of safety you have in your home.
If you live in an apartment that opens to the building, you are not as safe. This is because the hurricane winds will be directly hitting your apartment walls.
In such cases, you should stay in a room that is farthest from this outer wall. On the other hand, if you live inside the building, you are safer.
Your Building’s Safety Standards
Another major determinant of apartment safety is the standards put into place in your building.
It will be much safer if your apartment building has followed codes and is built on a solid foundation.
However, if it has been built in an improper way, you might be in danger. This should not be much of a concern if you live in a big city.
Big cities have strong rules and regulations for building owners and contractors. If they don’t build strong foundations, they might suffer from fines and lawsuits.
Useful Tips on Being Prepared for Hurricanes
Hurricanes bring with them strong winds that can knock down trees and billboards. Riding out such hurricanes is a scary experience wherever you are.
However, it can be even more dangerous when you are living in an apartment. You might be wondering whether evacuation in such events is necessary.
Evacuation is not necessary when a hurricane hits. However, being prepared for this natural disaster certainly is.
This is why we have listed the tips on how to stay prepared in your apartment when a hurricane hits. They include the following:
Look Up Online Resources
You must stay updated regarding the developments of an upcoming hurricane in your area. Sometimes knowing all of this can be significantly beneficial and being prepared.
There are tons of government and disaster relief websites that offer a plethora of information. While doing so, you should also research evacuation centers in your area.
You should be aware of the closest one to you if the need for evacuation arises.
Store Everything You Need in Your Apartment
Being prepared means having the required resources in your apartment when a hurricane strikes. This includes food items, first aid kits, emergency medication, batteries, etc.
You should create an emergency prep bag for a hurricane. You and your family can use this when the hurricane strikes.
Also, make sure you keep your smartphones and laptops charged as well. Loss of power is possible in case of strong hurricanes, so you need to be prepared for it.
Make Preparations for Your Pet As Well
If you have a dog, cat, or any other pet, don’t forget to make preparations for them as well. You should accommodate them in your home or find a shelter that they can stay in.
Make sure you don’t leave your pet outdoors during a hurricane. Additionally, you should also create a prep bag for them.
This should include your pet’s food and an emergency aid kit for them.
Keep Electronics Charged Beforehand
Power is often the first thing affected during a heavy hurricane. Hence, you should keep all of your electronic devices charged beforehand.
These include your mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. Moreover, you should also avoid keeping electronic devices as your coffee machine plugged.
Keeping them plugged in might damage them since power surges are common during hurricanes.
Secure Outdoor Items
Any outdoor items like chairs, tables, or baskets should be removed.
During a hurricane, these items might get swept away and cause damage to apartment windows.
Therefore, bring these items inside if you have kept them on your apartment balcony.
Park Your Cars in a Secure Place
If the predicted hurricane is severe and might cause flooding, you should carefully park your car.
It should be parked in a secure place to be protected from strong winds and floods.
Hurricanes and strong winds often can cause damage to cars through trees or broken billboards. If possible, park your car under a shed.
Get To Know Your Neighbors
Getting out safe and sound from a hurricane requires that you socialize with your neighbors.
In emergency situations like hurricanes, you all have to work together to ensure protection.
Evacuation and creating emergency funds are also made more accessible when you are working together with neighbors.
Hence, it always pays off to socialize with them beforehand.
Make Sure You Are Insured
Planning ahead for a possible hurricane requires that you keep insurance. You don’t know when disaster strikes.
Hence, it would be an excellent call to insure your house, car, and other assets. This way, in case of damage, you will not incur hefty costs.
Keep Important Documents in a Safe Place
A hurricane might potentially damage your apartment in certain cases. This is why you should keep your essential documents in a safe place, like a safe.
Documents like certificates, financial documents, and those related to your assets should not be lost. In such a case, recovering them can be a significant hassle.
Before the hurricane strikes, make sure you have kept all of these in a safe place. This will ensure the least possible damage to them.
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