Tropical Storm/Hurricane Idalia Updates

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Storm Preparedness and Safety


  • Remember that the safety of you and your family is a top priority. Please review the information at on what to do immediately before and during the storm. Continue to monitor local weather reports and be prepared to evacuate if authorities recommend doing so. (Identify your evacuation routes ahead of time and plan multiple options if possible.)
  • If you haven’t already, create a hurricane kit with nonperishable food, bottled water, flashlights, medications, weather radio, batteries, chargers, and pet supplies. Also, ensure that any important documents are safe.
  • As stormy weather approaches, please bring all unsecured outdoor items (chairs, tables, grills, toys, etc.) inside the home or garage, as these items may be blown around and cause damage.
  • If you do not have a Resident Portal account, now would be a great time to set one up – so we have all your contact information – at (Contact your property manager from your welcome email provided to you at move-in if you need assistance.)
  • Be aware that conditions can change quickly. We will do our best to keep you updated through various communication channels, including email and phone. However, please always use your best judgment and follow the directives of state and local officials on all safety matters.
  • FirstKey Homes does not provide or reimburse for sandbags or window-boarding, but you are welcome to install hurricane shutters, board up windows, or sandbags around the home if desired. If you choose to do so, it would be best to buy those supplies now before storms approach.
  • As severe weather hits, expect delays in local service. We will suspend office hours and service as necessary in all identified hard-hit areas for the safety of our employees. We ask that you please not visit the local office during these times, as it may be closed due to safety, power outages, etc. Please be assured that we will still be working, when possible, to support our residents.

Notes for After the Storm:

  • If you experience any damage to your home, please report it by calling 844.395.3959.
    Note: Please do not report storm damage using our Online Self-Service portal, as storm-related requests are handled differently than standard maintenance requests.
  • Our local team members will prioritize inspections based on damages and our ability to get to the home.
  • Note that in severe conditions, you may experience delays in local service. We ask that you please not visit the local office during these times, as it may be closed due to safety, power outages, etc. Please be assured that we will still be working, when possible, to support our residents.
  • Even after the storm has passed, dangerous conditions can continue; see the “Returning Home After a Hurricane” section for how to stay safe.
  • For important up-to-date information regarding post-storm resources and recovery efforts, refer to Red Cross updates.
  • Be aware of important safety guidelines before operating a portable generator at your home. Please see details below. Other resources include:

Generator Safety and Best Practices

We want to ensure that all residents are operating generators safely in the event of a power outage. Our homes are not equipped with standby generators nor the proper systems to accommodate generators powering electrical circuits. For residents with access to a portable generator, FirstKey Homes requires that it be operated according to all manufacturer’s guidelines and with appropriate caution and concern for health and safety. Most importantly, for your safety,generators must always be placed outside — not inside the home or even in a garage — when being used. Placing generators inside the home is dangerous.

Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the generator.

Generators may not be connected directly into a home’s electrical system. This is a safety issue and has the potential to damage the home. Modifying the electrical panel to accommodate a portable generator is unsafe and not authorized in the terms of your lease.

Be aware that generators can cause dangerous hazards such as:

Carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Do not use a generator indoors or in partially enclosed spaces, including homes, garages, and crawl spaces – even those areas with partial ventilation.
  • Do not place outside near open doors and windows. Using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. Do not place the generator in front of open windows.
  • Do not assume that you are safe. Be aware that carbon monoxide fumes emitted by gasoline, propane, diesel or gas engines can be fatal. As carbon monoxide is odorless, people are not aware of its presence.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms inside your home to alert you of dangerous levels. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended placement.

Electrocution or electric shock

  • Always connect the generator to the appliances with heavy-duty extension cords.
  • As a reminder, do not connect a generator directly to your home’s electrical system. Doing so is not authorized in the terms of your lease and can be a safety hazard.


  • Keep your generator outside and fuel your generator outside.
  • Do not store fuel for your generator in your house. Gasoline, propane, kerosene, diesel and other flammable liquids should be stored outside living areas in properly labeled, non-glass safety containers.
  • Do not store fuel near a fuel-burning appliance, for example a gas stove.
  • If the fuel is spilled or the container is not sealed properly, invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and be ignited by the appliance’s pilot light or by arcs from electric switches.
  • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline or other flammable liquids spilled on hot engine parts could ignite, and invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and be ignited by the generator’s pilot light or by arcs from electric switches in the appliance.

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