Natural disasters happen and we can only do so much to control the damage. However, we can do our best to protect our belongings before the storm starts. Below are 4 tips on preparing your storage unit before a storm.
Insurance. Insurance is one of those things that most of us don’t worry about. We usually think that nothing bad will happen to us and we don’t need it. However, especially if you are storing your belongings in an area with frequent natural disasters it is important to make sure your items are covered. Some facilities require insurance, but if they don’t your personal insurance company can likely help you. This is a great preventative tool that can save you the financial strife of purchasing all new items in case of a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster.
Store items on top of pallets. If it is possible, when you move into your storage unit try to store things on top of pallets with a tarp underneath. The tarp protects the floor from scratches and the pallets protect your items from water damage in case of a flood or hurricane. You can usually get pallets for free or extremely cost effectively from local shipping companies or other facilities. Remember to always check with the owner or manager of the facility to make sure this is in compliance with their rules!
Check your unit before the storm starts. When you are aware that a storm is coming if it is still safe to do so, you should go to your unit and get anything extremely important out of it. For example, if you know you have stored birth certificates, or social security cards you should retrieve them before the storm. You should also check that the door is securely locked and things are as far off of the floor as possible.
Check your unit after the storm. You should go to your unit and check on your items as soon as (safely) possible after the storm or disaster. This can prevent unnecessary damage caused by water or other potentially damaging materials. Another reason to check as soon as you can is because if it is necessary to file an insurance claim you want to take prudent measures and get the claim filed as soon as possible. Many insurance companies will not accept a claim if you did not do everything you could to minimize damage. For example, if there was a flood and you went to your storage unit 3 weeks later and found mold the claim may not be covered. However, if you go the first day it is safe to do so and take preventative measures you will be more likely to have your claim accepted.
While these suggestions may not fully protect your items from a natural disaster they will certainly help. It’s always better “to be safe than sorry”!