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Teri Lanza

Teri Lanza
Editorial Director
tlanza@vpico.com

Hurricane Irene Affects Industry? Members Check In on Self-Storage Talk

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If you live and work on the East Coast, the past weekend was probably one of the most unsettling in some time. Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina on Friday and slid up the coast, dumping rain and high winds on some of the most densely populated areas in the country, including New York City. Seldom does a hurricane affect such a large swath of people. Wherever there are lots of people, there are usually lots of self-storage facilities, too, and those of us who live anywhere but the East Coast are probably concerned for our industry mates: Did they make it through the storm unscathed? Did they evacuate? Were there any damages to their homes or facilities? When incidents of this magnitude occur, a great online gathering place is Self-Storage Talk, the industry's largest online community.

SST has multiple discussions occurring right now about the hurricane and its effects: "Facility Hurricane Update," and "Storm Irene," are the places for post-hurricane check-ins. The unified message, thankfully, seems to be "it could've been a lot worse." Plenty of reports of down trees and limbs are coming in, but none of significant damage or severe flooding. Member Lisa T, who lives near the North Carolina coast, reported her son lost power in the Wilmington, N.C. area, but she did not and her facility did not. Additionally, her facility managed to elude the fallen trees in the area and suffered no damage.

Sadly, even though Irene has run its course, hurricane season is far from over, which is why it doesn't hurt to check out the "Hurricane Prepardness Advice" thread. Lisa T started this thread before Irene, expecting a far worse scenario than what occured (at the time, Irene was a Category 3; when it actually made landfall, it was a Category 1). If Irene's recent onslaught weren't enough, remember it was six years ago yesterday (Aug. 29, 2005) when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans and ravaged the city and surrounding area. Self-storage facilities in coastal areas must have a plan in place to prepare for these storms.

Have more stories about Irene or other hurricanes to share? Maybe you've got some information about facilities within the storm's path, or maybe your facility was in the storm's path. If so, please join us in the community by registering (for free) to post at www.selfstoragetalk.com/register.php. We're looking forward to hearing from you.

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