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Self-Storage Firms Lend a Helping Hand to Hurricane Harvey Victims

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Update 9/5/17 – Connecticut-based Westy Self Storage and online storage marketplace SpareFoot have also announced programs to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey.

All Westy storage facilities have been designated as drop-off locations for baby products, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food items and personal-hygiene products. The company will provide temporary storage for donated items and deliver them to Feeding America, a nonprofit network of more than 200 food banks. The organization will then deliver collected products to the most affected areas in Texas, according to the source.

SpareFoot has offered to compensate Harvey sufferers for a full month of self-storage by issuing reimbursement gift cards from Amazon.com. Victims who reserve a storage unit through the SpareFoot.com website are eligible to receive the free gift. The company is also helping hurricane victims find offers for free self-storage move-ins through its online platform by highlighting those listings in green in user search results.

Founded in 1990, Westy Self Storage is headquartered in Stamford, Conn. The company's portfolio of 15 facilities spans the tri-state area of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

SpareFoot.com helps consumers find and reserve self-storage units, with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. With a network of more than 12,000 storage facilities ranging from mom-and-pop operations to real estate investment trusts, the company reaches prospective storage renters though partnerships with brands including SelfStorage.com and Penske Truck Rental.


8/31/17 – Lockaway Storage, Metro Storage LLC and U-Haul International Inc. are among the self-storage operators offering assistance to businesses and residents impacted by Hurricane Harvey. All three have designated facilities to provide at least 30 days of free self-storage, as well as other services, to those affected.

The storm has caused widespread flooding and damage throughout Southeast Texas, with some areas receiving more than 50 inches of rain. The weather system has dumped an estimated 24.5 trillion gallons of water across Louisiana and Texas, killing at least 31 people and causing thousands to evacuate. As many as 40,000 homes in the Houston area have been destroyed by floodwaters, with 32,000 residents registered in Texas shelters. In all, 325,000 people had registered for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as of Thursday, according to ABC News.

On Monday, Lockaway officials announced the company would provide a free month of storage to Texas storm victims at any of its 29 facilities in the San Antonio metro area. The operator has also partnered with UNITS Moving and Portable Storage to provide free use of mobile-storage units.

“Our professional self-storage property managers are prepared to help [victims] figure out the proper size of storage unit to protect [their] belongings after the storm,” Lockaway officials said in a blog post on the company website.

Portable storage from UNITS is available for use as onsite storage and temporary office space, according to the blog. The company is catering to construction businesses that may need to use the containers onsite at properties undergoing repairs and renovations.

Metro Storage announced today that it will offer two months of free rent at six of its facilities in the Houston area. Four of the locations are within the city border, while the other facilities are in Kingwood and La Marque. None sustained damage during the storm, according to a press release.

"People that have damage and are beginning the recovery and cleanup process are looking for a safe, dry place to store their belongings," said Blair Nagel, CEO of Metro Storage. "We're fortunate to be in a position where we can offer assistance to residents in this time of need."

Prior to the Category 4 hurricane making landfall along the Gulf Coast, six U-Haul companies announced that 41 facilities across eight Texas cities would offer a month of free storage to those affected. The U-Haul Cos. of Corpus Christi, Gulf Coast Texas, East Houston, West Houston, San Antonio East and San Antonio West operate participating facilities in Corpus Christi, Houston, Kingwood, League City, Pasadena, San Antonio, Spring and Webster.

As Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm but veered toward Louisiana earlier this week, weather forecasters predicted continued rainfall in parts of Kentucky, Louisiana and Texas to reach 3 to 6 inches by Friday, with some areas receiving up to 10 inches, according to “Business Insider.”

On Tuesday, the U-Haul Cos. of Northern Louisiana and Southern Louisiana announced 12 facilities in nine cities across the state would offer 30 days of free storage to residents impacted by the storm. Participating facilities are in Gretna, Harvey, Kenner, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Leesville, Marrero, New Orleans and Slidell.

In addition to providing self-storage, participating U-Haul facilities are also offering supplies to help with storm recovery, including boxes, tarps, propane and propane tanks. U-Haul is an official American Red Cross Disaster Responder, according to a press release.

Lockaway operates more than 40 self-storage properties in Texas, with locations in Boerne, Converse, Leon Valley, San Antonio, Schertz and Texarkana.

Headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., Metro Storage operates the Metro Self Storage brand. The privately owned, fully integrated real estate specializes in the acquisition, development and management of self-storage facilities nationwide. It operates 130 locations in 13 states comprising more than 8.1 million square feet of storage space.

Established in 1945, U-Haul owns and manages more than 52 million square feet of storage space throughout North America.

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