Seeking shelter in an apartment complex - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Seeking shelter in an apartment complex

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- During severe storm warnings, you'll hear our meteorologists warn you to take cover. Usually, families head for the basement when sirens go off. But what about people who live on the top floor of an apartment building?

Katelyn Baldwin moved into Lantern Square, an apartment complex in Waterloo, two years ago with her daughter. When a storm blows through, she and her daughter feel safe taking cover in their ground floor dwelling. So do several of her upstairs neighbors.

"A few of my neighbors come and ask if they can come down. They know they're more than welcome," said Baldwin.

Baldwin's property manager, Carol Burton, encourages her top floor residents to head for the basement or seek shelter in their clubhouse. She's proud to say the families who live downstairs have no problem opening their doors.

"We have everybody go downstairs to the lower levels, which is partial underground in the courtyard. We do have lower level residents who are always opening their doors to offer that little extra security," Burton explained.

"I know that carol's made the right choice of who lives here," Baldwin noted. "I know that she trusts them, so I am able to trust them."

Burton realizes not everyone is comfortable enough with their neighbors to knock on their door in a storm. She recommends you ask your landlord where to take cover -- and make sure to ask long before you really need to know.

"I don't have a lot of people that do ask where they go for severe weather. So it's kind of nice that we always try to make sure we put that in during the lease signing. Even during the winter months, we always go over that so they do know."

Other property managers in the area recommend their tenants head for the lowest level of their complex. Carol Burton said most people do not inquire about emergency shelter, but says its one of the first things you should ask about before you move into a new apartment.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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