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Emergency officials advise planning for apartment renters to prepare for severe weather

Finding shelter during severe weather was difficult for some people living in apartments. (Mark Slavit/KRCG 13)

Finding shelter during severe weather was difficult for some people living in apartments.

Some renters prepared for storms by having a plan for weather emergencies.

Zach Schell, who lievs on the second floor of a Columbia apartment building, said he never stays in his upper level home during severe weather because it is not safe.

“Since we live in an upstairs apartment," Schell said. "We actually cannot get to a basement floor without going to someone else’s apartment, so it’s a little bit tricky.”

MU sophomore Thomas Hatfield, who lives on the first floor of his apartment building, said he usually finds shelter in the center room of his home.

“I normally just go into the bathroom," Hatfield said. "I’m here on the bottom floor, so I really don’t have to worry about getting low. I just normally hide in the bathroom and hope for the best.”

Boone County Emergency Management Officials said a closet, a bathroom and an interior hallway without windows are the safest spots in an apartment during severe weather. Emergency officials said preparation is the key to safety during severe weather. Safety officials said if you live in an apartment, it is a good idea to know your neighbors.

“Hold the door for somebody and say, 'if we get some storms, could I perhaps stay in your closet for a few minutes?'" Boone County Emergency Management Deputy Director Tom Hurley said. "It’s a little creepy. It will perhaps save you a lot down the road.”

Safety officials said apartment renters should always ask their apartment manager about the location of any nearby storm shelters, and those individuals need an emergency plan by identifying the best evacuation routes.

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