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Preparing a self storage unit for an emergency evacuation

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Preparing a self storage unit for an emergency evacuation

Hurricane season is almost over but the preparation for it is year round. Waiting until the last minute to prepare for this and other potential natural disasters is a surefire way to end up in all kinds of trouble. Since it is impossible to predict what is going to happen, it is best to stay prepared ahead of time. Your self storage unit can serve as a safe haven for your most important documents and other belongings. In the event that your home suffers any type of damage due to unforeseen circumstances, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you are in the best position to respond.

Secure documents in the right type of containers

Choose airtight and easily portable containers for the documents that are the most important to you in case you have to grab things and go quickly. If you are storing sensitive documents like birth certificates and others with vital information, you will want to make sure they are easily accessible in case you need to leave your home quickly and relocate elsewhere. Other important items can be placed in a water and fireproof safe. That way, you can feel comfortable knowing they are secure if you are unable to visit your storage unit for some time after you have evacuated your home.

Since we are living in a time where everything is digital, as an added precaution, you can even store copies of these documents in the cloud and on your personal computer at home. You should take every step necessary to ensure you have access to these important files at all times. Keep in mind that if you have to evacuate and your circumstances change, there is a possibility that you could lose your self storage unit in an auction. Therefore, backing up all your files in as many places as possible is the smartest way to go.

Pack an emergency kit

After you choose your portable containers, you should choose the items that you will place in there carefully. Depending on the area you live, there may be a greater risk of an evacuation than in other places so getting the necessary supplies for this is absolutely crucial. For instance, people in California have been experiencing devastating wildfires and may need to move at a moment’s notice. Packing important documentation like financial, legal, medical, and family mementos to ensure they are not destroyed is certainly a priority for people who live and own businesses in the state of California. Easily store these items in a binder to keep them in one place and maximize on space. If you need to move in a hurry, the more compact your items are, the better easier they will be to carry around.

Choose a convenient location

In situations where disaster arises, time is of the essence. Every second counts when trying to get to safety so you will need to every moment of your time. Therefore, strategically choose a location that is close enough to your house so that you can get there in a reasonable amount of time. The proximity of the self storage facility and your home isn’t the only thing you should think about when choosing a location. The amount of traffic in the area is important as well. You will want to avoid locations where you will need to take the highway because those routes tend to be the most crowded whenever there are emergencies. Another thing to consider is where you go after you evacuate your home. Think about whether it is more convenient to have the self storage facility closer to your home or the place you will eventually end up. Keep in mind that if you have to go to a shelter, they may not accept pets so you will have to make alternative arrangements. Hopefully, you will never need to utilize an emergency evacuation plan but it doesn’t hurt to have one just in case.

Arrange the self storage unit accordingly

Think logically when packing and organizing your items. Put the everyday items that you will need immediate and frequent access to at the very top. These items should be in a secure container that is light enough to pick up and carry if necessary. Stack the items whenever possible and put the heaviest boxes and containers at the very bottom. Sensitive items should be raised up off the floor so that they are kept safe in the event of flooding. Lining the floor will help even more with guarding against water damage. Self storage facilities are usually well secure and able to withstand a lot of the elements, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Choose the right self storage facility for your needs

The protections that are in place to guard against extreme damage in the event of a natural disaster will vary across self storage facilities. For instance, if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, choose a self storage facility that is far enough from the sea and in an elevated area. If you are worried about bushfires, then a self storage facility that is far enough away from those areas most susceptible to damage is the best one for you. You should also pay attention to the locks and security on the premises. Since people tend to take advantage of the chaos that often ensues whenever there is a disaster, theft is especially a concern. Check whether or not the self storage facility has had any recent break-ins.

Even after you are ready to return home after an evacuation, your self storage unit will still come in handy. You can use it to store the items you have salvaged from your home if you will need to renovate or get your things replaced. You can search and rent a self storage unit one a month-to-month basis so that you will not be bound to the terms of a lease if you are able to recover quickly.

Jodi Reid

About Jodi Ann Reid

Jodi is a writer for the Self Storage Blog. She enjoys traveling, working out, eating healthy and having fun.

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