Survival in Condominiums and Apartments — Special Risks

high-rise apartment building

Where are the exits?

A more complex planning challenge for neighborhood CERT teams

It’s one thing to divide up a residential community made up of single family homes or duplexes into workable groups or “divisions.”

Apartment complexes are yet another matter. The construction variables, layout of the building, number of units per structure and more all have to be taken into consideration. How many units per floor, natural or man-made separations or barriers are there? Are elevators the main source for access? What is the general demographic makeup of the units . . . elderly, children, singles, etc.?

Laying out Emergency Planning Guidelines 

Multi-family buildings have advantages and disadvantages and have to be
thoroughly analyzed when establishing the emergency planning guidelines.

  • “Block Captains,” for example, may really be Floor or Wing Captains.
  • Depending on the number of units, a building may only have one Captain and one assistant.
  • Larger buildings will likely require more volunteers.

Whatever the ultimate designation, the number of residences one person can handle to check up (and report) on are limited by the distances and obstacles between units.

Action Item:  If you live in a multi-family setting, and are building an emergency plan for your own safety, you will need to consider the layout and quality of your building.   Do a property assessment to determine potential risks, evacuation routes, etc.  You will also need to consider the readiness of your neighbors. . . but that’s subject for the next few posts!

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

This is such an important topic that we have written a full report on Apartment Survival, and then added even more details in the Apartment Guide, part of our Survival Series. Please check them out.



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