In Florida, hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and during this time, devastating weather can arise in the blink of an eye. It’s hard to predict what might happen during this six-month span, but rather than wait to prepare until a storm is headed your way, use these three tips from Gainesville property management company Contemporary Management Concepts, LLLP, to ensure your apartment is hurricane ready.
1. Stock Up On Hurricane Supplies
If you wait until the winds have picked up and the rain is pouring to get supplies, you might be too late. For Florida residents, it’s best to have non-perishable supplies ready in a box or bag. Once a hurricane has been forecasted, everyone rushes to grab supplies, which creates a panic-like run on food, water, batteries and the like. Rather than fighting the crowd, stock up on items before hurricane season arrives. Make a list of items you and family members would need should your Gainesville apartment be affected by a storm. Consider the following items for your list:
- Pet supplies
- Non-perishable foods
- Baby wipes
- Books or board games
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Portable radio
- Matches or lighters
- First aid kit
- Battery operated fans
It’s also important to determine how much of each item you’ll need. We recommend having enough supplies to last for 10 days. For example, one person needs one gallon of water per day and we recommend you have enough water for at least one week. Also, don’t forget you’ll need water for your pets! Here’s another tip: if your student partment in Gainesville, FL permits grilling or has a grill station, purchase charcoal so you can grill the food in your freezer if you are without power.
2. Prepare Your Apartment
Once you have a stockpile of supplies, you can take a break from prepping until a storm is heading your way. Once forecasted, though, it’s time to take action. If your apartment has a balcony, remove any furniture, planters or other items that are outdoors as these items can become projectiles during a storm. Also, remove any wreaths or mats from your front door, porch or stoop.
Now it’s time to address your windows and sliding glass door if you have them. Check with your building manager to find out if shutters or panels are provided or will be installed over windows and sliding glass doors.
It is likely that the power will go out even for a brief amount of time when a hurricane is approaching the area; therefore, for sanitation needs, fill the bathtub with water for future use.
It’s also important to identify which room in your apartment is the safest. Storm-force winds can gust unexpectedly, and tornados are always a concern, as well. Identify an interior room that you can safely retreat to should the weather conditions become dangerous. Well before the storm closes in, park your vehicle, bicycle or moped in a safe location away from possible flooding and debris.
Additionally, in the event that you need to evacuate your home, ensure you have a ready-to-go bag or container that is packed with any important documents, keepsakes and supplies.
3. Communicate With Your Neighbors
Communication is vital when preparing for a storm. Expect your building manager to release details pertaining to a preparedness plan and ensure you know administration or management contact information. Pro tip: if your community has an access gate, ask how the gate will function if the power is out. Spread the word in your apartment community so everyone is adequately prepared.
Take the time to introduce yourself to fellow neighbors. Contact information as well emergency contact information can also be exchanged amongst neighbors as well. Be mindful of neighbors who may be sick, injured or not have enough supplies — if you have the ability to safely help, we urge you to lend a helping hand. If it is safe to stay in the apartment for the duration of the storm, you can take the initiative to check on neighbors once the storm has passed and it is safe to leave your home.