Hurricane Sandy: Self-Storage Tips During and After the Big Storm

 

By: Mitch Laursen, USstoragesearch.com

Do you know what to do when a hurricane attacks your self-storage facility or storage unit? Sure, you might have spent the last five hours preparing for the storm. But in those five hours, did you completely plan out what you were going to do DURING this monster of a hurricane? Below are some extremely helpful tips and information on what to do during an enormous hurricane, and the steps you should take following the hurricane.

Currently Hurricane Sandy is an incredibly large hurricane that has thus far stretched close to the tip of Washington D.C. down past the Bahamas. Early on Friday, October 26, 2012, Hurricane Sandy ripped into the Bahamas and left almost 40 people dead across the Caribbean (according to LATimes.com). The terrible hurricane is expected to turn north along the coast of United States in coming hours and days.

Many self storage facilities make careful preventative measures to ensure their tenants’ belongings are as safe as possible from heavy wind and water damage. According to USstoragesearch.com, these preventative measures include:

  • Gathering tools and equipment.
  • For a power shortage—print a Rent Roll, Vacant Unit Report, Access Code Report, and an Insured Roll Report.
  • Relocate any important office documentation and information to a location that is safe.
  • Keep the telephone plugged in until you leave the facility.
  • Charge your cell phone until the power goes out.
  • Unplug all electric devices (computers, fax, modem lines, etc.).

“Our clients will typically take care of every precaution to ensure their investments (buildings and customers) are ready to deal with the elements,” said Brian Bremer, Director of Call Center Operations for the USstoragesearch.com 24/7 Call Center. “Many self-storage facility managers even live at the storage facilities, so precautions are taken across the board to ensure the infrastructure of these buildings is of great quality.

During the Storm
During big storms like Hurricane Sandy, people are recommended to stay inside and away from windows, skylights, and glass doors (according to About.com: “What To Do During and After a Hurricane”). Make sure any automatic sprinkler systems are turned off to prevent further damage. If you decided to travel to your self storage facility and take shelter in the units, clear drains and downspouts to reduce flooding of the facility. Be sure to call and inform others where you are taking shelter during the hurricane, to avoid others from going into danger to search for you.

With indoor self-storage facilities, move belongings as far away from the door as possible. If water does make it past any precautionary devices, moving items back will prevent potential damage. Also consider moving belongings to pallets or platforms; as a cheap option, these tools can be easily thrown away and will raise objects off the ground and away from water.

As noted above, unplug all electrical devices (except for the telephone) and major appliances like the air conditioner and water heater. Law low and stick to areas of your facility that are far from windows and doors. No matter what, do not go outside: any damage to your self storage facility or units can be handled after the storm passes.

After the Storm
When the hurricane is over with its home-destroying rampage and has passed, be sure to remain indoors until city officials give an official “all clear” is given. According to About.com, more deaths occur in times following a hurricane: where people get too anxious to go outside and look at the damage, and come into contact with disconnected power lines, unstable trees and branches, jagged pieces of glass and metal, etc.

“Being that our call center is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, we do tend to see an increase in storage reservation calls before major storms occur and immediately after they end,” said Bremer. The USstoragesearch.com call center effectively works to ensure the quantity and availability of staff to answer phones. “Out team has the ability to help reserve storage units for customers, back-up onsite management teams, and move customers in remotely if the store manager is unable to assist.”

As you stick to the confined area of your self storage facility, waiting for the official “all clear,” use your cell phone or telephone (if it’s still usable) to call polies or utility companies to report hazards. Do not use your phones unless it’s for an emergency though; chances are there will be thousands of people in the area calling for much disastrous hazards or events from the hurricane.

For people who haven’t rented a storage unit by the time Hurricane Sandy arrives, here are some tips to keep in mind (as quoted by Bremer):

  • Pack away items and clearly marked boxes so that you can find needed things at a later point.
  • Sealable plastic bags are easy to find and are great ways to keep valuables dry.
  • Call self-storage facilities as soon as you can: storage units can be rented up very quickly when large storms hit.
  • If you need a temporary storage unit, notify the self storage facility: most self storage facilities offer month-to-month payments, but will gladly offer exceptions.

Remember to do everything you can to prepare for Hurricane Sandy and any other extreme storms that could arrive at your doorstep. If you don’t have enough time to complete necessary preparations, your safety is the most important thing to ensure. Follow the information and instructions above, call us at USstoragesearch.com to reserve your self-storage unit, and we wish the best of luck to you!

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