Update 6/3/13 – Plantation Self Storage in Savannah, Ga., has set a goal of collecting 1,000 cases of water to be distributed to storm victims and emergency responders in Oklahoma. Several businesses, churches and residents have already made donations, and the facility will continue to collect water through June 10. The company has partnered with World Wide Movers to help deliver the collected cases.
Update 5/28/13 – Self-storage operators continue to roll out relief efforts to aid Oklahoma storm victims. Fairborn Self Storage in Fairborn, Ohio, pledged to donate one day’s rental payments, while COWs (Container on Wheels) Mobile Storage dealerships are holding collection drives in several states.
Fairborn Self Storage said it will donate all rental payments made at its office on May 24 to Oklahoma efforts by the American Red Cross. Owner Rob Degenhart said he expected to donate at least $1,000.
COWs Mobile Storage of Southern Wisconsin collected donations last weekend at a Walmart in Jefferson, Wis. The company set up one of its portable-storage containers in the parking lot to collect items such as personal-hygiene products, cleaning supplies, nonperishable food, clothing and footwear.
COWs also announced through its Miami headquarters that dealerships will hold collection drives in the Oklahoma communities of Lawton and Sanford, as well as Ixonia, Wis.; Milford, Mass.; Rockingham, N.C.; and Washington, D.C.
The COWs dealership program is specifically designed to add mobile-storage services to an existing moving or self-storage business.
Some self-storage facilities operating in areas of Oklahoma that were ravaged by tornadoes and severe storms this week are offering affected residents temporary, free use of storage units. Among them, the U-Haul Co. of Oklahoma City is offering 30 days of free self-storage, and SpareFoot, an online marketplace that streamlines the rental process for self-storage customers, will cover the first month of storage rent (up to $100) for victims within a 50-mile radius of Oklahoma City.
In addition to its free self-storage offer, U-Haul is also encouraging residents to take advantage of the company’s “Take a Box, Leave a Box” program, which allows customers or anyone in the community to leave reusable boxes for other customers to use for free.
"These recent tornadoes and severe storms that are sweeping through areas of Oklahoma have proven to be absolutely devastating and have caused a great deal of damage throughout the communities we serve," said Brett Hogan, marketing company president for U-Haul Co. of Oklahoma City. "I hope this effort will help provide assistance to [Oklahoma] residents who need support. We will do our best to help our friends and neighbors in this time of need."
Residents in need of storage assistance from U-Haul are advised to call the company’s regional office at 800.522.4236.
For those participating in the SpareFoot program, the company will mail a check to cover their first month’s rent as long as belongings are moved into a storage unit by June 21. Additional details about the offer are available on the SpareFoot website.
“The images of the destruction in the Oklahoma City area are heartbreaking. Our thoughts go out to the communities in this region that felt Mother Nature’s wrath,” said Chuck Gordon, SpareFoot CEO. “While human lives obviously are the most important consideration in a situation like this, we at SpareFoot hope our offer of free storage space can help people in the Oklahoma City area recover from these powerful tornadoes.”
Storms destroyed as many as 13,000 homes and caused up to $2 billion in damage in the suburbs near Oklahoma City, according to news reports.
Established in 1945, U-Haul has 36 million square feet of storage space at more than 1,000 owned and managed facilities throughout North America.
Founded in 2008, SpareFoot.com helps consumers find and reserve self-storage units, with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. There are more than 6,500 self-storage facilities in its network. The company also provides Web-marketing solutions for storage facility owners and operators including AdNetwork, SiteBuilder and GeoPages.