We never know when a natural disaster will hit, so preparation is always important. The Texas Apartment Association has this article on their website with plenty of good information.
“Renters who have evacuated from their rental housing units may have questions about whether they are habitable and what happens if they are not. You may want to review TAA’s Emergency Post-Disaster Notice to Our Residents, which is available to property owners to use in such circumstances. The information included in this form may be of assistance to you. The TAA Lease Contract (paragraph 26) includes a provision for terminating the lease if fire or catastrophic damage is substantial. You will want to contact your property owner or manager as soon as possible to discuss the condition of your dwelling and next steps regarding your personal circumstances. If your Lease Contract is not a TAA Lease Contract, you will want to refer to your lease for specific information and contact your property owner or manager as soon as possible. In the meantime, evacuees will want to register with FEMA as outlined in the first bullet point below and to seek any needed assistance from the American Red Cross or other relief organizations.
Here are some additional sources of information:
- For information on federal assistance that may be available, visit the Federal Emergency Management Association website at www.fema.gov. You can register online for assistance. In addition, you can call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-621-FEMA end_of_the_skype_highlighting (3362), or for the hearing/speech impaired at TTY: 1-800-462-7585 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-462-7585 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. FEMA may also have staff on the ground in affected areas.
- For information on other relief or emergency assistance that may be available, visit the American Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org/. The hotline for information about evacuation shelters is 866-GET-INFO begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 866-GET-INFO end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
- Additional information about hurricane relief and recovery efforts may be available on the Department of Homeland Security website at www.dhs.gov.
- To contact the local apartment association in your area for more information, visit http://www.taa.org/apartmentassociations/ and click on the city or portion of the map nearest you.
- Some apartment locator companies also list available rental units online. Some you may want to check are: Apartment Finder at www.apartmentfinder.com; Apartment Guide/ApartmentGuide.com at www.apartmentguide.com; Apartments.com at www.apartments.com; For Rent at www.forrent.com; MoveForFree.com at www.moveforfree.com; My New Place at www.mynewplace.com; Rent.com at www.rent.com and You Move for Free at www.youmoveforfree.com.
Other tools for disaster preparedness and response The Texas Apartment Association recommends reviewing the following resources related to disaster preparedness and responding to any natural disaster that may occur:
- Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
- Preparing for a Disaster
- Notice to Community Residents regarding Hurricane Warnining
- Ten Tips for Victims of Natural Disaster
- Preparation Information from the Texas Extension Disaster Education Network
- Safe and Well Website from American Red Cross, where you can register as “safe and well” after a disaster and send messages to family and friends
- Next of Kin Registry, which stores emergency contact information”