Living in the Midwest, the threat of severe storms and tornadoes is all too real. Being an Iowa girl, I'm no stranger to the summertime storm sirens. Damaging winds, pummeling hail, flash floods, twisters, and fearsome lightning likely summer occurrences. Tragedies such as the recent devastation in Moore, Oklahoma hit close to home. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who lost their lives, loved ones, and homes.
Since the season for severe weather is upon us, I thought I'd round up a few safety tips for renters. Tornadoes often come swiftly and without much warning, so take weather warnings and conditions seriously. Having a plan in place will better protect you in the event of a tornado.
If you live on the upper floor of an apartment building, get to the lowest level you can as fast as you can: an underground parking garage, basement room, or neighbor's lower level unit. If you live in a high-rise building, there may not be enough time for you to get to the lowest level... or even a lower level. Try to get to a hallway in the center of the building. Closets, bathrooms, and interior hallways are the safest spots in your apartment. Always pick a place without or as far away from windows as possible.
In the event of a tornado, put on a pair of shoes if you have time. In your safe spot, cover yourself with blankets and pillows. Get underneath a mattress, heavy piece of furniture, or large table for extra protection from falling objects and flying debris. Wear a bike, baseball, or similar helmet if you have one available - it will help to protect your head from any falling objects or flying debris.
It's never a bad idea to have a survival kit in your apartment, too. Fill a plastic toolbox with a flashlight, extra batteries, first aid items, a bottle of water, and anything else you might need handy in the event of an emergency.
For more detailed advice about your specific apartment, ask your property manager or landlord if there are any storm shelters in the building or designated safe spots in the complex.
Stay safe out there, lovelies!