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Extreme Winter Weather Creates Stories on Self-Storage Talk

By John Carlisle Comments

Last week was brutal for much of the country as a historic winter storm system created heavy snow and ice from Dallas to Boston. In Chicago, people are still digging out from two feet of snow. More than a dozen states experienced power outages. Even those in warm climates such as Phoenix and Southern California were shocked as high temperatures struggled to reach 50 degrees for multiple days. Meanwhile, self-storage operators in the storm's path were forced to adapt to keep their facilities open and accessible, their sidewalks and parking lots clear, and their employees safe.

Self-Storage Talk, the industry's largest online forum, is hosting a couple of weather-related discussions. Member LLVIS, a manager in Arlington, Texas, started this thread expressing his incredulity at the ice and snow in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Other members, snowed in or looking for answers to weather-related problems, posted to commiserate or problem-solve. Members in the Sun Belt who managed to stay warm and dry relished the opportunity to poke fun at those in wintry climates, but it was good-natured ribbing.

In another thread, members discussed weather-related facility closings and how bad a storm would have to be to mandate the shutdown of an entire facility. Many issues are germane in the decision. First of all, some tenants, especially business or retail tenants, require frequent access to units, and they stand to lose money if there's no way for them to access a unit on a particular day. Secondly, many management teams have at least one person who lives on-site or very near the facility. In this instance, employee safety in traveling to or from work isn't much of a concern. Perhaps the biggest dictating factor is electricity. Rolling power outages across the plains required some facilities to close because access gates and office heat wouldn't function. Last but not least, owners and regional managers must weigh the financial losses assocated with being completely closed for a day or more versus the losses associated with running utilities and paying employees on a day when it's highly unlikely customers will be visiting.

Have a weather-related horror story from the past week? Or maybe some pictures of your facility covered in snow or draped in icicles? Feel free to share them on the "Ice! Snow! More Ice!" thread. You must be a registered member to post, but registration is free and takes only a few minutes.


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