Summer storm season can generate powerful thunderstorms, strong winds, and torrential downpours of rain. Already 2014 has brought significant rainstorms to major cities all across the United States. Camden communities in Atlanta, Tampa, and Los Angeles, have already seen storms that delivered as much as 6 inches of sudden rainfall. Such forces of nature can be expensive, and dangerous, if handled improperly. At first glance, elevated apartment properties might seem impervious to the costly damages caused by flooding. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and apartment renters can also find themselves treading water when storm season hits. If you’re doing damage control after a particularly brutal storm, waiting for your electricity to return, or just cleaning up the mess left behind from a leaky faucet, there are steps you can take to keep it from happening to your property again. Protect yourself, your family, and your belongings by taking the time to learn the necessary precautions to keep everyone and everything safe from storm damages.
Step One: Assess the Situation
If your apartment was in the path of the storm, sound the alarms immediately. Contact your apartment maintenance staff, and friends and family in the area. If you live in a Camden apartment community, you can contact 24-hour emergency maintenance services. Management in your apartment community can be helpful with cleaning your property, fans, and wet vacs. If your apartment’s electricity is out, unplug all of the appliances in your place and leave your refrigerator closed. Consider finding one of your neighbors (if you are a Camden community resident, check mycamden.com) to determine if the outage is widespread within the property that you are living. Once you’ve confirmed everyone’s safety, do what your best to document any damages to your apartment with photographs and notes. Tell your apartment management office as soon as possible, and make sure you have records to prove you documented the full extent of the property damage.
Step Two: Planning for the Unexpected
Apartment renters, like all others responsible for property throughout the country, should be aware of what their insurance policies cover in terms of storm damages. You should also look into getting renters insurance for your property, as insurance plays an important part in flood risk management. Landlord insurance will typically cover the building insurance, carpeting and appliances included. Renters insurance usually covers damages to your personal property- provided that floods are included in your policy. If your apartment is in an area of the country where flooding and storm catastrophes occur more frequently renters insurance is a wise investment, along with included flood protection.
Step Three: Dry Out
Call your electrical company if the power in your apartment has still not been restored. Your energy provider should act quickly to return power to your home following a major storm or flood. Use fans to air out the apartment, and consider running a dehumidifier in wetter areas of your property. Check for structural damage to your home that may have been incurred during the storm. After homes have been flooded due to storms or other incidents, moisture can remain in drywall, carpet, and other surfaces, and can lead to mold growth. Apartment buildings that stay wet for over 48 hours are at severe risk for widespread mold growth within the walls of the property. Exposure to mold can cause allergy-like reactions, and even asthma attacks. Consider having your home inspected after a large storm or flood incident; a professional may be able to uncover potential dangers that you have missed.
Step Four: Rebuild and Recover
Rebuild your apartment as necessary, and do what you can to recover from the experience of a severe storm. Begin looking for a new apartment if the damage to the property is significant enough to make your place unlivable. With numerous properties across the country, Camden Living is a great place to find affordable apartments from coast to coast. The next time a storm hits, don’t wait for damages to occur. Anticipate leaks, flash floods, and power outages if you can, and consider purchasing a “storm kit” with plenty of water, batteries and flashlights, candles, canned and dry food, a first aid kit, gasoline, and a portable radio to keep you connected to others in the wake of the storm.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Eckhart is a home improvement and energy efficiency blogger. She enjoys spreading her knowledge about keeping a green home, and can be followed on Twitter at @elizeckhart.