Hurricanes present significant risks to properties and tenants in the Houston Gulf Coast region. As a Houston landlord, ensuring your rental properties’ and tenants’ safety and security during hurricane season is vital. 

Landlords in Houston need to be prepared for hurricanes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-average hurricane season, with a high probability of multiple major hurricanes. This forecast makes it all the more important for Houston landlords to be prepared. Here are some tips to help prepare your rental properties and tenants for hurricane season.

Before the Threat of a Major Storm

Preparation is key to safeguarding your properties and tenants well before a hurricane approaches. The following steps can mitigate potential damage and ensure a safer environment for everyone involved.

Property Inspections and Maintenance

Regular property inspections are essential to identify and resolve vulnerabilities that could be worsened during a hurricane. Some ongoing items to address include:

  • Clearing gutters and downspouts to prevent water from pooling on the roof
  • Trimming trees and shrubs to prevent branches from breaking and causing damage
  • Reinforcing windows and doors with shutters or impact-resistant glass
  • Inspecting the roof for any loose or damaged shingles

A professional inspection before hurricane season can identify potential issues that may not be apparent during regular inspections.

Emergency Supplies and Equipment

The right supplies and equipment can make a significant difference during and after a hurricane. It ensures that tenants have the necessities to remain safe and comfortable if they cannot leave the property, and it can facilitate quicker recovery once the storm has passed. Here are some essential items to stock:

  • Emergency Kits: Prepare emergency kits for each property with essentials such as non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, sanitation kits, and a battery-powered radio.
  • Backup Supplies: Stock up on extra supplies such as batteries, flashlights, tarps, and plywood in case of power outages or property damage.
  • Chainsaws and Other Equipment: Have necessary tools and equipment on hand to clear debris after the hurricane passes. This includes chainsaws for fallen trees and generators for power outages.

Tenant Communication Plan

A communication plan is crucial for effectively communicating with tenants during and after a hurricane. It can help keep everyone informed about evacuation orders, safety measures, and property status updates. Here are some steps to develop a communication plan:

  1. Create a Contact List: Compile a list of all tenants’ contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses.
  2. Establish Methods of Communication: Determine each tenant’s primary method of communication (e.g., phone call, text message, email) and designate one person in charge of communicating with them during an emergency.
  3. Outline Evacuation Procedures: Develop and communicate a clear evacuation plan to tenants before hurricane season begins.

During a Hurricane

If your area is under threat from a major storm, follow these steps to ensure the safety of your properties and tenants:

  • Secure Outdoor Items: Bring outdoor furniture, potted plants, or other items that could become projectiles in high winds.
  • Stay Informed: Monitor weather updates and follow evacuation orders as directed by local authorities.
  • Shut Off Utilities: If instructed to do so by authorities or if there is a risk of flooding, shut off gas, electricity, and water.

After a Hurricane

Once the hurricane has passed, assess your properties for damage and take necessary actions to restore them. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Assess Damage: Inspect each property for damage caused by wind, rain, or flooding. Take photos to document the damage for insurance purposes.
  2. Make Necessary Repairs: Repair any structural damage, such as roof leaks or broken windows, to ensure the safety of tenants and prevent further damage.
  3. Remove Debris: Clear debris from the property and surrounding areas to ensure safe conditions for tenants and passageways for emergency responders if needed.
  4. Communicate with Tenants: Keep tenants informed about the status of their rental units, any necessary repairs, and when it is safe to return.

Insurance and Financial Protection

It's vital to have the proper insurance coverage in case of a hurricane.

Having robust insurance and financial protection measures is crucial for minimizing the financial impact of hurricane damage. Here are key steps to ensure your properties are adequately covered:


Property Insurance: Make sure you have comprehensive property insurance covering hurricane-related damage, like wind and water damage. Review your policy annually to ensure it matches your property’s current value and condition.


Flood Insurance: Standard property insurance usually doesn’t cover flood damage. Given Houston’s flood risk, have a separate flood insurance policy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).


Renters Insurance: Encourage tenants to get renters insurance to protect their belongings and cover living expenses if they need to relocate temporarily. This safeguards their assets and can prevent disputes over property damage.


Business Interruption Insurance: As a landlord, business interruption insurance can cover lost rental income and operating expenses if your property becomes uninhabitable due to hurricane damage. This insurance can be vital during the recovery period.

These proactive steps can help landlords better protect their investments and ensure a faster recovery from the financial repercussions of hurricane damage.

Community Support Initiatives

Community support is vital in post-hurricane recovery, providing essential resources and fostering resilience among affected residents. Participating in community support efforts as a landlord can significantly aid recovery and strengthen tenant relationships. Consider these initiatives:

  1. Organize community clean-up events by coordinating volunteers and distributing supplies. 
  1. Partner with local nonprofits for disaster relief and businesses for property repair resources. 
  1. Establish tenant support groups and a resource-sharing system.

Landlords can contribute to their tenants’ well-being by promoting faster recovery and building a more resilient, connected community.

Residential Leasing & Management: Houston’s Premier Property Management Company

As hurricane season approaches, Residential Leasing & Management Corp., a leading property management company in Houston, is committed to helping landlords and tenants prepare for potential disasters. Our experienced property managers offer comprehensive management services that include:

  • Extensive Local Expertise: Our knowledge of the Houston property market ensures that we provide top-tier services tailored to the Houston community.
  • Comprehensive Property Management: From tenant sourcing and lease management to maintenance and emergency response, we handle every aspect to give you peace of mind.
  • Proactive Communication: We keep all parties informed with transparent and regular updates, fostering a harmonious and well-informed tenant-landlord relationship.
  • Reliable Emergency Response: Our dedicated team is always ready to manage crises, ensuring the safety and well-being of tenants and property during events like hurricanes.

Take the first step towards stress-free property management with Residential Leasing & Property Management Corp. Contact us to learn how we can help you maximize the value of your investment while providing exceptional care for your tenants.