Apartment Safety Tips: Hurricanes

apartment ratingsAs evidenced by the recent devastation to the Northeast caused by Hurricane Sandy, hurricanes, tropical depressions, and tropical storms are very real dangers to those in their path.  If you are worried about how a hurricane would affect your apartment ratings, you should consider the consequences of a natural disaster.  According to the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center, the Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and also ends November 30th.

Protect Your Apartment
You should be aware of your home’s vulnerability to flooding, storm surges, and high winds in a hurricane.  If you have a home flood, your apartment could be subject to serious water damage, which can later harm your apartment ratings once the disaster passes.  For this reason, it is important to consider flood insurance for your apartment, which can protect the contents of your home in case of damage from flooding.  Use the National Insurance Flood Program’s risk profile to find out about the risk level of your apartment.  Ratings regarding potential damage to your home can be major factors in thinking about where to live and how to proceed in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster.

If you decide to wait out a hurricane, board up your windows with plywood, or find out if your landlord will provide you with shutters or panels.

Protect Yourself
Find out whether or not your home is in an evacuation zone.  Even those in the periphery of a hurricane should still be wary of changing weather.  If an evacuation order is issued, follow it.  Oftentimes those who stay behind even after an ordered evacuation face much more serious consequences than lowered apartment ratings.

apartment ratings

Have an emergency kit prepared with items like water, non-perishable food, flashlights and batteries, a first aid kit, and a battery powered radio.

During a hurricane, the safest room in which to stay will be a small central room, such as a bathroom or hallway.  If you are on a higher floor, consider making your way down to a lower level.

Checking the National Hurricane Center’s website is a good way to stay informed about hurricane activity in the United States.  For more information and the NHC’s guide to hurricane preparedness, click here.

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