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Before Event During Event After Event Resources

Before the Event

(See Also Elevators)


  • Before the storm, print the Home Damage Assessment photos and include them in your hurricane kit. 
  • Complete an inventory of your valuable possessions. Your inventory will help with insurance claims and tax deductions for losses.
  • Make sure your important papers, including key contact information, are stored in a waterproof container in the event there is water damage.
  • Residents of apartments and condominiums located within an ordered evacuation zone must evacuate, either to another location of their choice or to a shelter. No one should remain in the building.
  • Residents should contact their building/complex manager or owner if they are concerned about the protection of their building (e.g. lack of shutters, or inability to install shutters on their own).
  • If you live in a high rise building or have difficulty in getting around, make sure you have enough food and water for at least five days. The elevator may be shut down or inoperable, prohibiting you from leaving the building for a few days.
  • Residents of apartments and condominiums located within areas not ordered to evacuate should select a building coordinator who has knowledge of hurricane preparedness, and will lead residents on how to prepare for the storm.
  • If permitted, install shutters (commercially approved type or plywood). Check fasteners to ensure shutters are snug against the wall.
  • Close and lock all windows and sliding glass doors.
  • Draw all shades. Close all blinds and drapes.
  • Place folded towels on window sills and inside the bottom of doors leading outside to absorb any leaking water.
  • Wedge patio doors shut to prevent them from being blown off.
  • Close shutters tightly against the wall to prevent them from being blown off.
  • Remove all loose items from terrace or patio (hanging plants, lawn chairs, etc.) Do not place outdoor furniture in the swimming pool as it could be damaged while in the pool or cause damage if blown out of the pool by high wind.
  • Remove fragile objects from wall shelves. Store in closet and off the floor to safeguard from storm vibrations.
  • Locate relative "safe zones" in the apartment. Closets, hallways, bathrooms and kitchens are possibilities. Be sure you can access water, batteries, food, etc. from here during the storm.
  • Be sure that you carry all necessary insurance. Many renters don't carry insurance, and those that do, don' t always carry enough, or even the right kind of coverage.
  • Locate the exit stairway nearest to you and count the number of steps from your door to the exit (in case lights are out in an interior hallway).
  • Check and close all faucets, unplug electrical items from wall outlets and disconnect television antennas from the sets.
  • Determine a location outside of the building for members of your family to meet in the event you are asked to evacuate.


  • Managers of apartments and condominiums located within areas not ordered to evacuate should establish a building security detail to coordinate hurricane preparedness activities for multiple tenant buildings.
  • Locate a safe area for residents to congregate. Instruct them to stay away from windows and sliding glass doors.
  • Make provisions for sheltering other people who might be trapped when evacuation routes are closed by the storm.
  • Test the operation of the emergency generator.
  • Bring all fire extinguishers indoors.
  • Check first aid kits.
  • Ensure tools and materials that might be needed for repairs are readily accessible.
  • Secure grounds by setting up guidelines for safety of cars and recreational equipment.
  • Lower and secure television antennas on the roof to prevent damage. Television antennas are often electricity-charged and should be allowed to bleed off by disconnecting television sets early on in the building preparations.
  • Read more detailed information on how to prepare your building's elevator for a hurricane.

Updated April 2017​​