A.D. Thompson

You don't have to live in a hurricane zone, or infamous Tornado Alley, to be concerned about severe weather. Apartment renters from Maine to Minnesota to Michigan (and well beyond) all experienced some serious winter storms already this year.

How do you severe weather-proof your apartment? Read on for tips that can help turn your flat into a fortress when severe weather hits.

For winter weather


Cold proof

Whether it's a blustery blizzard or a full-on cyclone, you'll want to be prepared for the cold. This means checking that your windows are properly sealed and insulated, as well as getting some nice thick rugs if your apartment isn't carpeted. Get some draft guards for your doors, or make your own.

Winter bedding

This one isn't just great for emergencies – warm winter bedding is super cozy! Thick blankets, such as those made of wool, fleece or cashmere if you're feeling fancy, are among the best choices. Flannel sheets, too, will help you retain all that body warmth. And of course, as long as the power's working, an electric blanket couldn't hurt!

There's an app(liance) for that

Since your heat will likely be working overtime, we recommend getting a humidifier to keep the air in your apartment from getting uncomfortably dry. And if you find your apartment's heating system leaves a little to be desired, consider a non-electric space heater. Just be sure to follow all instructions for safe use to prevent fire hazards and learn to use it before the winter storm hits. This is a skill you'll want to have mastered when an emergency strikes.


For heavy rain or wind


Secure outside items

Does your apartment have a patio or balcony? If outdoor furniture can be folded or secured in an adjacent outdoor storage closet, do so. If not, you may have to bring it in with your plants for the duration of the storm. Ground-floor apartments, depending on your elevation or proximity to water, may also benefit from sandbagging.

Emergency kits

Severe weather can cause long-term power outages and even interrupt water service (Hurricane zone tip: fill your bathtubs with water – not for drinking, but for toilet flushing!).

Your emergency kit should have basic supplies including candles, batteries and flashlights, first aid items, a can opener, portable device chargers, Sterno (heat fuel cans), canned food and fridge-free snack items, such as granola bars.

Inspect your emergency kit regularly to ensure batteries and chargers are still good to go. A battery-powered radio is a good idea, as well, in case your devices lose power.

Remember your renter's insurance

Most apartment communities require tenants to carry it. Check your policy so you'll know what's covered in the event your home is damaged during a severe weather outbreak. And keep your policy somewhere safe and close by.

Banner Photo by Ramesh Iyer on Unsplash



About The Author

A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson spent the first half of her 25-year career behind the editor’s desk, including time at Playgirl Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Orlando Sentinel and a host of other publications, print and online. Now a full-time freelancer, she is the Orlando expert for USA Today’s 10Best.com and writes about everything from Mickey Mouse to marijuana-based tourism with equal levels of enthusiasm – and occasional bouts of the munchies.