As a renter, the best thing you can do during a hurricane season is to be prepared, which means having a plan for every contingency and knowing what to expect from these severe weather events. Being prepared can help you and your family minimize the impact of these storm surges and high winds. Listed below are some of the preliminary precautions and safety tips that every renter should know during hurricane season.
Store Essential Supplies
Consider having an emergency kit that contains first aid medicines, flashlights, battery-powered radio, spare batteries, candles, matches, bug spray, a few books or magazines for entertainment, and three (3) days worth of non-perishable food and water that can be easily accessed in the peak of natural disasters and emergencies. Also, remember to bring all your important documents and have some cash handy, since banks and ATMs may be temporarily closed after a dreadful hurricane.
Protect Your Rental Home
Make sure that your rental home is in good repair and safe for you to shelter-in-place during hurricane seasons, in case the windy conditions become life-threatening. Before the storm surges, relocate outdoor items to reduce the risk of them being damaged by heavy rain and high winds. It’s wise to secure heavy blankets or plastics over your windows and doors to offer additional protection, or you can also call your property manager or landlord and ask them about their plans for securing windows or balcony doors.
Review the Insurance Policies
It is important to ask your property manager or landlord about the insurance coverage of your rental home to insure your personal property and to avail flood insurance if it’s not included in the coverage. By having insurance prior to the natural disaster can actually help you navigate the process more smoothly. Make sure to talk with the owners of your rental home to review your lease and know what is covered.
Take Photos of Your Personal Belongings
In the event of a severe hurricane, make sure to photograph all your personal belongings to make filing an insurance claim easier. You can do this by storing the photos online using cloud storage services. When your home lost power and it becomes too dark, try to turn the flash of your camera on so you can take a few shots from different places in the room. Another option is to document the entire situation by taking videos of your home from many angles and store them in a safe and dry place.
Take Your Vehicle in a Safe Location
To protect your car during a severe hurricane, make sure to have some parking options in mind. We suggest you stay away from power lines or trees and try to find a covered parking garage that is situated on higher ground to give your car the best chance for survival when a hurricane hits your area.
Plan an Evacuation Route
When you live in the path of a hurricane, it’s up to you to decide whether you choose to stay at home or evacuate. Either way, it is best to know the emergency routes and comply with the given directions regarding evacuation, particularly if you’re living in a high-rise building, mobile home, or in a floodplain. If possible, evacuate to a home of either family, friends, or identify a place away from your rental home where you can go.