Managers at Simply Storage Contend With Hurricane Sandy
In times of natural disaster, it's up to self-storage facility managers to be vigilant about their properties, protect them as best they can and address customer concerns. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which is currently terrorizing the East Coast, Inside Self-Storage reached out to readers to see what they're doing to get through the storm and prepare for its aftermath.
Some are sharing their thoughts and strategies in an active thread on Self-Storage Talk. (Feel free to join in the discussion!) Tammy and Robert Alexander, managers of Simply Storage in Virginia Beach, Va., were kind enough to submit their action plan and some accompanying photos. Their comments are below. A big thanks to Anne Ballard at Universal Management Co., the facility's third-party management company, for putting us in touch with the manager duo.
First and foremost, we stay on top of upkeep to the property and ponds so they are ready in case of any surprising weather. We also encourage all tenants at move-in to get insurance. If they have insurance, we ask that they send us a copy to go into their folder, or we offer insurance on site as well.
To prepare for a hurricane, we pumped water from the retaining ponds a couple of feet so we can accommodate the extra water. We checked all outlets in the ponds to make sure nothing is obstructing the flow. We checked gutters to make sure they were clear so the water would run smoothly from the roof to the downspouts. We made sure there we no loose branches that would fall on the buildings. We also removed any outside decorations and made sure the lot and pond were free of trash and debris.
Right before the storm, we took down our flags, and at closing last night we moved our computer towers from the floor to the countertop so if we had flooding they would be off the floor. We also moved wrapping paper, bubble wrap boxes and picture boxes to the conference-room table. We have our boxes on furniture dollies and just pushed them away from the windows.
During the storm, we go out regularly every couple of hours to remove tree limbs and debris from the ponds to make sure outlets stay clear. After a storm, we walk hallways to make sure we have no water in the halls and check the lot. If we find a problem, then we call the tenant(s) right away to let them know they should come and check their unit to see if they have any damage.
Have some disaster prep or recovery tips you can share? Is your facility being affected by Hurricane Sandy? Please share your insights and experiences on the blog. Be safe!