Guest post by Tim Eyre.
Not too many of us like to think about things like our houses burning down or natural disasters like floods or earthquakes happening to us. And yet we know all too well that these kinds of things occur. We are in the throes of the information age and it is impossible to get away from it. As soon as disaster strikes, it is all over TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, and internet news sites in a matter of seconds. To many of us, it’s like watching a movie – we see things happening to others that we don’t think will happen to us. But have you given much thought to what you would do if something along these lines happened to you?
I work for a self-storage company and my travels take me to our different facilities across the country. During my visits, I am seeing how more and more people are starting to take preparedness seriously. My company’s tenants have all kinds of different reasons for renting storage units but to an increasing extent, I am seeing storage units being used as a hedge against disasters of all varieties, man-made and natural. Along these lines, here are a few of the observations I’ve made:
How are the units being used?
There are a variety of ways our customers use their units to mitigate disaster. And a variety of things they are on the lookout for. These run the gamut from destroyed property to damaged homes to widespread catastrophe. Some of the typical uses of storage units for disaster mitigation include the following:
- Repository for important stuff: Your home may make it through a calamity pretty much intact but that doesn’t mean your property will be as fortunate. We tend to
keep a lot of important stuff inside our homes that we can’t very easily afford to lose. Storage units are an ideal place to store some of this stuff or at least to store
copies of important documents.
- Home away from home: OK, so sometimes your home doesn’t make it through intact and you need to seek alternate accommodations, at least temporarily. What
are you going to wear? How are you going to stay warm? What are you going to do about first aid? Questions like these can be answered quite easily when the items you need are already sitting in your storage unit.
- Survival cache: Some folks don’t want to take any chances. So they prepare themselves for the worst. Believe it or not, storage units are as useful to these survivalists as to those with a less radical mentality. Most units are large enough to accommodate large amounts of stored goods and tools, and they afford tenants lots of security and privacy.
What they are storing:Depending on a tenant’s level of preparedness, he may have any or all of the following items sitting in his storage unit:
- Water: There is nothing more vital. Some folks keep a little on hand, others keep a lot. Whether you store water in one-gallon or five-gallon containers, the important thing to remember is that it can’t be kept forever.
- Food: Perishables obviously don’t work in storage units, but canned goods last for long periods of time and some survivalists like to stock their storage units with so many canned goods that the units begin to resemble miniature supermarkets.
- Important documents
- Priceless items: memorabilia and heirlooms
- Flashlights and batteries
- Battery-powered radio or TV
- First-aid kit
- Car cell-phone charger
- Toiletries and personal hygiene items
- Changes of clothing
- Blankets and sleeping bags
- Reading material
- Games or decks of cards
Why storage units work for this purpose: It’s no coincidence that a large number of folks are now utilizing their storage units for survival and preparedness. There are many reasons that the units provide an ideal hedge against disaster. Here are just a few of them:
- Capable of storing a ton of stuff
- Unlikely to fall victim to fire or flooding (most facilities nowadays are concrete)
- Climate controlled (available in most facilities)
- Affords lots of privacy
- Reasonably secure
- Gives you redundancy so that you don’t have all your eggs in one basket
Everyone understands the importance of being prepared. If disaster strikes, then having a nearby retreat handy can suddenly become more important than any of us ever thought. That much-needed safety valve in a time of crisis may be no further away than down the street and may look exactly like that storage unit you are renting.
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