Live in a condo? Here’s what you should do before severe weather hits

Live in a condo? Here's what you should do before severe weather hits

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The higher you live in a condominium, the stronger the wind will be during a storm.

So if your condo has a balcony, patio or lanai, clear it of loose items.

"Things that are being dislodged at height from a building will become wind borne debris missiles that can strike other portions of your building or the neighboring building or come down on the ground or smash into cars or potentially hit a person," structural engineer Gary Chock said.

Buildings built after 1996 will withstand stronger winds. Still, you should close your shades or blinds to stop flying glass.

And tape over areas where wind and rain have entered your unit in the past.

"If you have louvers you can do some taping between the stats to try to prevent or limit the amount of water that can come into you unit," Chock said. Fill your bathtub with water in case the power goes out, and unplug electronics that can get damaged during a power surge.

"If you're in a building that has walkways that connect the building to a parking garage, those can become wind tunnels too. So avoid those during the storm," Associa Hawaii's Andrew Fortin said.

Condos have insurance that covers structural damage. Tenants have renter's insurance.

"If I'm an owner I'll have what's a called an HO-6 policy that covers the contents of my unit," Fortin said.

He recommends notifying your building manager immediately if the storm damages your windows or lanai.

Chock said because of how storm winds circulate around highrises you can expect to feel stronger wind if your unit is located in the corner of your building.

Fortin said people who live in condos should be ready to help neighbors who are senior citizens or who have mobility issues.

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