Anyone who lives or has lived on the East Coast of the U.S. knows hurricane season can be a scary time. But if you’re vacationing here for the first time, you might not be aware of just how frequent hurricanes can be.
Hurricane season on the Atlantic Seaboard lasts from mid-May to the end of November each year. Whether you’re a property owner who is planning on renting their home out as a vacation rental, or a renter who is visiting the East Coast this summer, check out these tips on how to stay safe and protect yourself during hurricane season.
Preparing Your Vacation Rental for Hurricane Season
As a property owner, you have a responsibility to do everything in your power to keep your renters safe, and that includes making sure your home is as safe and secure as it can be when the next hurricane hits.
- Keep in touch with your property manager. Working with a team of experienced property management professionals, like those at Network Real Estate, can go a long way toward making sure your property and tenants stay safe during a natural disaster.
- Prepare your property by addressing any maintenance concerns, making sure the roof is in good shape, providing a way to reinforce doors and windows, and keeping sandbags on hand in case the water levels rise.
- Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Review your policy and have all your insurance info ready in case a hurricane does any damage to your rental property. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of your property before a storm, in case your insurance needs to compare before and after photos.
- Secure any loose objects outside. You or your poetry manager should make sure things like pots, plants, furniture, and grills are secured or put away before a storm makes landfall.
- Do what you can to prevent flooding and other damages. For example, if you have trees with loose limbs around your property, make sure they’re trimmed before hurricane season. You should also clean out your gutters and storm drains before the season begins.
- Provide a list of information and instructions for what to do in the event of a hurricane. This should include:
- A list of emergency supplies
- Your phone number
- Your property management company’s phone number
- A number to call for maintenance issues (if different)
- Locations and numbers for hurricane shelters
- Police and fire department numbers and info
- A map of evacuation routes
Preparing for Hurricane Season as a Renter
Whether you’re renting a vacation property for a week or a long-term rental for a year, you should never underestimate the power of hurricane season in North Carolina. While the upkeep and maintenance of the place you’re staying is the responsibility of the owner/property manager, you also have responsibilities as a tenant.
If you’re renting a property in Wilmington, NC, and a hurricane is on the way, your very first step should be to fill up your vehicles with gas, make an evacuation plan, and park your vehicle under cover so they’re safe in the event you need to leave. Additionally, you should gather the following:
- Three days’ worth of non-perishable food items, nuts, beef jerky, protein bars, and canned meats, fruits, and veggies.
- Three days’ worth of water. One gallon per person, per day, is a good rule of thumb. You should also fill tubs and sinks with water to use for flushing toilets.
- Battery-powered cell phone charges, or charging packs that can hold several “phone’s worth” of charge.
- Flashlights and candles in case the power goes out.
- A battery-powered or hand-crank radio to stay up to date on what’s going on outside.
- Plenty of extra batteries for all of the above items.
- Duct tape and a small tool kit for basic repairs.
- A first aid kit capable of treating basic injuries.
- Books, games, toys, cards, and anything else that can help keep you and your family occupied.
- A “go bag” with some food, water, clothes, and important documents (driver’s licenses, etc.) in case you need to leave quickly.
- Extra cash in case the power is out and credit card machines aren’t working.
- Numbers for and locations of local shelters.
If you’re a property owner who needs help managing vacation rentals this summer, our team is here to help. Call us at 800-830-2118 for property management services or for help finding a vacation rental in the Wilmington, NC area!