Amy Campbell, Senior Editor

June 11, 2008

2 Min Read
When the Sky Falls

Or to be more accurate in this case, when the falling sky is really a deluge of rain that keeps coming and coming. Living in the heart of the Arizona desert, where we are going on to our 10th year of drought, it is easy for me to forget that other parts of the country are experiencing horrible floods.

I have to confess, I have had very little experience with raging, out-of-control waters except for a few wild, white-water rafting holidays. Flashing down a river at incredible speeds in a small rubber raft is exhilarating. You can really get the sense of being at the mercy of the element. But that feeling must be nothing like the hopelessness people feel as flood waters inundate their homes, businesses and psyches.

My son lives in the Midwest, where there is currently some pretty horrible weather. So I have started paying more attention to what goes on over there. And on Self-Storage Talk, facility owner Randy L describes his painful concerns about not only trying to help his town deal with an oncoming flood, but how to protect one of his stores.

Our own sage, industry expert Jim Chiswell, offers some really practical sugggestions to help this fellow. Here are a few highlights of his advice:

  • Depending on the catastrophe, establish a 24-hour security watch.

  • Set a period of time that customers should not be allow on the site for safety reasons.

  • Remove all rental agreements and the computer from the office as soon as possible.

  • Check the rental agreements and insurance addenda for completeness.

  • Contact your insurance adjuster as quickly as possible.

  • Photograph the situation with the time/date stamp.

  • Consider bring in a rental RV to serve as a temporary office if the office is out of commission.

  • If a customer is unavailable to view his unit, hire independent insurance adjustors to do a preliminary evaluation.  

  • When dealing with the media make every comment about your customers and your concern for them.

  • Don’t talk to the media about insurance liability issues or get into finger pointing.

  • You have the right to stop media people from entering or filming your property.

  • Be sure to tell managers what they may and may not say to the media.

He concludes by saying, “Hope that you and your facility are protected.” That goes from all of us at ISS also.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Senior Editor, Inside Self Storage

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