I’m A Renter – Should I Approach Emergency Preparedness Any Differently than a Home Owner?

If there’s one major lesson to be learned from the ongoing pandemic, it’s that disaster can strike any time, and one should always be prepared for the unpredictable. Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, you must approach emergency preparedness the same as any other person.

Being prepared for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances isn’t a one man’s concern. So, whether you live in a two-story house of your own or the 15th floor of your rented apartment, it is important to understand that crises can affect anyone, at any time. As a renter, there are a few things you can do to be prepared for any kind of unexpected situation so that you aren’t caught off guard and know what to do.

Create Your Own Emergency Kit 

Most people have emergency kits ready with basic supplies in their apartments, but in case you don’t, you can create one quite easily.

Some key items that you should include in your emergency kit are:

  • A flashlight 
  • Extra set of batteries
  • First-aid supplies 
  • Drinking water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Power bank
  • Emergency cash
  • Important phone numbers, including your landlord’s and family
  • Dust masks
  • Hand sanitizer 

You might want to consider other essentials in case, and unfortunately, if a major natural disaster hits your region. These documents include:

  • Copies of important documents such as renter’s insurance, rental contract, passport, etc.
  • Thermal blankets
  • Extra clothes
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Fire extinguisher 
emergency prepared checklist

Prepare a Home Inventory List 

Most of us have valuable belongings in our homes, and in the case of an emergency, one can end up losing them. It is important that you document all your possessions and create a list of things that you own in your rented space.

At the same time, you also must know their worth and value. Preparing a home inventory list is very important because it will help you make an insurance claim if they become damaged due to a fire or any other natural disaster.

Know the Evacuation Plan 

Having an evacuation plan in place is extremely imperative, particularly for renters that live in large apartment complexes.

You need to make sure that there’s a proper evacuation plan in place for your apartment. Most buildings have one which is generally posted in different common areas that lead you to safety. Familiarize yourself with the plan and make sure that all your family members know it by heart too.

Get to know the escape routes of the building as well in case some happen to be blocked due to whatever reason during an emergency situation.

Get to Know Your Neighbors 

Whether you live in a rented house or an apartment building, it is always a good idea to know who your neighbors are.

You can help each other out during any kind of crisis and come up with ways to deal with the situation at hand together.

For instance, if the power suddenly goes out, or there is a risk of theft in the building, you and your neighbors can work together to come up with plausible solutions. 

Do You Have Renter’s Insurance?

Your landlord is generally responsible for things like structural repairs and damages in case of natural disasters; however, they don’t bear responsibility for your personal belongings.

Renter’s insurance can be a big lifesaver in such events where you can receive coverage for the damage of your personal possessions.

While some renters might find payments for renter’s insurance to be quite a burden, you will actually be happy to buy it if, say, something happens to your laptop during an emergency event.

Know the Exit Routes and Best Shelter Locations 

If you happen to be living in an apartment building, you must know its exit routes and best shelter locations that are present in and around the apartment.

There may be situations when you won’t be able to follow the precise evacuation plan and have to find the nearest exit route as fast as possible. You might even have to seek shelter in the nearest shelter location.

Get Your Apartment Inspected 

Get a thorough inspection of your rental to check for possible leaks, damages, cracks in the walls, or any such thing.

In times of heavy rainfall, for instance, many people end up dealing with leaking ceilings and walls, as well as structural damages. Emergency preparedness for renters also means inspecting the place and preparing for any kind of indoor, structural issues in the event of an emergency.

Surviving An Emergency Situation 

Other than preparing an emergency kit or knowing the evacuation plan of your building, it is essential that you survive an emergency situation without harming yourself in any way.

Here are some tips for emergency preparedness for renters that will really help you during and after a crisis situation.

  • Stay calm at all times, and don’t let fear or anxiety get to you. It is easier said than done, you will be able to process what’s happening and come up with solutions faster.
  • Learn how to shut off electricity, water, and gas lines to protect belongings from water damage from heavy rainfall.
  • Always conduct practice emergency drills with your family and neighbors so that you know exactly what to do when an unforeseen situation occurs.
  • Make sure to alert all other family members that don’t live with you in case of an emergency situation because they can send help and inform the authorities as well.
  • Always decide on a place mutually with your neighbors where you will meet in the event of an emergency. This helps gather everyone in one place, and if someone happens to be missing, you can alert the officials of your apartment building.

Looking for a Place to Rent?

Disaster can strike anytime and if you are on the move and are looking for a nice place to rent, make sure to check what’s available on Dwellsy.

Check out our other blog posts here to know more rental tips and tricks.