Extreme weather, like hurricanes and tornados, are common in many coastal cities, like Miami. At VIAC Miami, we know that your home is where you feel safe. Unfortunately, natural disasters can threaten your home and safety. This year, Hurricane Matthew has reminded us that it’s smart to be prepared.
There’s no worse feeling for those who have ever returned home to a storm-torn community after a hurricane. Taking caution during a weather emergency could help you save your most valuable assets, including your life. What to do varies depending on where you live. For those in high-rise apartments, there are several steps to be prepared during a severe storm.
What can I do to prepare for a hurricane?
Preparing for a hurricane begins before hurricane season. Don’t wait until the last minute to think about a plan. Follow these tips to prepare your apartment for a hurricane.
- Stay away from windows. Remove all art and mirrors from the walls. Store special mementos in a safe place.
- Ensure you have access to emergency updates. If you’re advised to evacuate, and can safely do so, it’s important to follow.
- Keep an emergency kit for disasters. In the kit, consider including food and water for a couple days, basic first aid, flashlights, and a backup battery for your phone.
- Sync up with your neighbors. At the onset of hurricane season, ask your neighbors what their plan is in the case of a hurricane. Let them know yours so you can account for each other.
Where is the safest place to be during a hurricane?
Weather conditions are extreme before and after a hurricane makes landfall. Extreme flooding and wind speed up to 140 mph have been associated with many of the worst hurricanes in history. If you live in an apartment, most weather experts advise immediate evacuation during a hurricane. Travel inland, up in elevation, and away from the coast.
Intense hurricane strength can cause tornado outbreaks. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan spawned over 100 tornadoes that killed at least 8 people. Though tornadoes are different than hurricanes, you should take similar precautionary steps.
Unlike hurricanes, tornado warnings can come with as little as 15 minutes notice. Knowing how to stay safe during a tornado will allow you to act fast.
Tornado Safety Tips
- Check with your apartment to see if they have a community tornado shelter available. If so, that is your best option for ensuring your safety.
- If a shelter is not available, head to the lowest floor. Do not stay in the upper levels of a high-rise.
- Go in the smallest room, like a bathroom or closet, preferably without windows.
- To avoid injury from falling or flying debris, squat down in the center of the room. Use a protective shield, like blankets or pillows, to cover your head.
Returning Home After A Disaster
If your apartment is hit by a hurricane or tornado, proceed home with caution. Assess any damage carefully. Be on the lookout for falling debris or loose material. Upon entering, if you smell gas, call 911 immediately. If power is out, use a flashlight, but do not light a candle.
Many hurricane-related deaths occur from drowning after the storm has passed. If surrounding streets are flooded, do not proceed. Turn around and return when it’s clear.
Will renters insurance cover weather damage?
The moment you see an ominous storm on the evening news, make sure your family knows your disaster plan. By taking precautionary steps all year long, you’ll be ready when hurricane season hits.
Stay informed with safe living tips from the luxury real estate experts at VIAC Miami.