When a hurricane is about to hit your area and you need to evacuate your home, you've got a limited amount of time to decide what to pack up and take with you. In most cases, because of time and space restraints, hurricane victims grab only their identifying documents (driver's licenses, birth certificates) and a change of clothes before seeking safer ground. When the damage settles, though, and they're left to resume their lives with nothing more than a folder full of paperwork, day-to-day life becomes especially challenging while they wait for their insurance companies to process their claims.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, renting a self storage unit now could make starting over a little bit easier should your home succumb to a natural disaster.
Choosing The Right Storage Unit
While nobody can absolutely guarantee that their establishment will not be damaged by an act of God, many storage facilities are built to withstand a tremendous amount of inclement weather. Right now, while the weather is calm and you've got plenty of time, call all the storage facilities in your area and ask each if their establishment is built to withstand category five hurricanes. The ones that do are safe places to store your belongings in heavy rain and winds speeds of up to 155 miles per hour.
The ideal storage unit for you is on a mid-level of a multi-level facility. A mid-level unit will be safer from rain damage than a unit on the top floor, and it will also be safer from flooding than the bottom units are.
If your budget allows, it's also a good idea to opt for a climate-controlled storage unit. In hurricane-proof storage facilities, climate-controlled storage units will be hooked to generators that will allow your unit to maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels, even if the power goes out. Many insurance companies won't cover moisture-related damages, and controlling the humidity will help thwart mold and mildew in your unit during the wet weather.
Understand The Weather Warning System And Be Ready To Move
Make a list ahead of time of what you'll want to pack away in your storage unit to make resuming your life after a hurricane easier. Think about what your family would absolutely need to restore normalcy if forced to start over. A set of dishes, blankets and pillows, a week's worth of clothes, some non-perishable snacks, and sentimental items are all worthy of stashing away in a safe zone until an impeding storm has passed.
When the national weather system issues a hurricane watch, there's a possibility that a storm is going to hit your area. Now's the time to start gathering all of the things on your list and moving them to an area close to your home's front door.
When the weather service issues a hurricane warning, the storm is probably going to hit you and you've got about 36 hours before it does so. As soon as a warning is issued, pack up your vehicle with the things from your list and get them transported to your storage unit, and then get yourself and your family safely out of the area.
Opt for the smallest storage unit available. You're not looking to store enough to furnish a whole new household -- you only want to provide your family with a little comfort in the days following the storm. Your unit should be kept mostly empty during non-storm weather, but a stashing a few things in there will help your safe storage efforts should the time come to use your unit. What should you keep in your unit? A shelving unit is a good idea, along with a few wooden pallets. This will allow you to keep both big and small items off of the floor and allow air to circulate around them.
As even added security, leave a few bags of charcoal in the corners of your unit. If a hurricane hits your area and you have to use your unit, cut a few holes in the bags while you're storing your things. The charcoal will help to absorb any humidity that builds up in your storage unit during the storm.
If your home is ever destroyed by a hurricane, the days following the disaster will be incredibly difficult. Make them a little bit easier by having a weather-proof storage facility ready and waiting to keep some daily-use items safe during a storm.