How to Get your Apartment Ready for Hurricane Season

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Hurricane season begins June 1st, and lasts until November 30th, with the peak between August and October.  This year is predicted to be an active one:  the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts:

  • 11 to 17 named storms
  • five to nine are projected to strengthen to hurricane status
  • two to four are predicted to become major hurricanes. 

As long time readers know, I started this blog soon after I experienced Hurricane Ike, when I got caught up in long lines at the grocery and gas station, the day before the hurricane hit.  I never want to experience that madhouse again, with wall to wall people racing against each other to grab the last case of bottled water or toilet paper.

Now is the time to get your apartment ready, before the first hurricane watch is issued.

Hurricane Watch vs Hurricane Warning

With a hurricane watch, you have a bit more time to prepare- a watch is issued when the storm is predicted to arrive within 36 hours.  By the time the hurricane warning is issued, you will be fighting for supplies:  hurricane warnings are issued within 24 hours of a the storm’s arrival.

Easy Steps to Prepare

Emergency Kit

Most people already have a number of supplies lying around their house.  The key is to gather them up and make your kit.  Include at least a week’s day supply of the following:

  1. water (one gallon per person per day)  and a way to purify water
  2. food – Include food that is easy to prepare in case you lose power.  Don’t forget comfort food such as chocolate, chips, tea and coffee; special needs foods such as baby formula and food
  3. disposable eating utensils so you don’t need to wash dishes
  4. lighting – plenty of flashlights, batteries, lanterns
  5. cooking backup such as a propane stove
  6. battery powered or crank radio
  7. cash for when debit or credit cards are not working
  8. clean clothes (Wash clothes before the storm hits)
  9. hygiene and personal care items, toilet paper
  10. trash bags
  11. first aid, including prescriptions
  12. pet food and supplies
  13. entertainment that does not require electricity
  14. basic tools in case of minor repairs, duct tape, rope, plastic tarp

If you are planning to buy a generator, set it up now, or hire an electrician to do it as it takes time to get it ready to use.

Emergency Plans

  • If you have leaky windows or any other maintenance issues, get your landlord to fix them now, before the problem gets worse.  Also report any overgrown trees or branches that could fall on your unit so the gardeners can trim them.
  • Decide ahead of time what you will do in case you have to evacuate.
  • Plan your route out of the city.
  • Create your emergency texting tree and designate your out of state emergency contacts.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged
  • Create your important documents binder
  • Fill up your gas tank

Financial Issues

  • Make sure you have renter’s insurance and review your coverage
  • Read your lease and find out what provisions cover hurricane damage just in case.
  • Make a home inventory, including photos or videotape of your possessions
  • Have extra cash in case you need to stay in a hotel

Don’t wait until a hurricane is coming close, that’s when shelves get emptied and everyone starts panic buying.  Fortunately, hurricanes are predictable and there is still time to prepare.


© Apartment Prepper 2017

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  1. You’re going to need to flush the toilet. Fill your bath tub as much as you can with water and use a bucket to scoop then pour into the toilet. If you have two bathrooms, then you have another to bathe in at least to a minimum for hygiene. If only one tub, pick up a couple packs of baby wipes.
    For cooking, i suggest using a Sterno folding camp stove and the cans of fuel. 12 cans give you around 24 hours of cooking and heating water. The stove folds down to about the size of 2 cd jewel cases.

  2. Aptprepper, great site! I love apartment and city prepping articles. There are so many people who live in apartments and urban areas. They need solid ideas about making it through the tough times as well.

    For recoverable situations, I think your suggestion to have renters insurance is one of the most important out there. I find it to be something a lot of people just don’t even think about. Especially younger people that are just getting out on their own.

    1. Thanks Joe, so true, younger renters often forgo renters insurance, but it is important to have. Thanks for the comment.

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