Hurricane season takes up a lot of real estate in the annual calendar. From June 1 through November 30, most individuals along the southern coast of the US are aware of the risks of hurricanes. Local governments are often reminding everyone to be prepared and stay prepared. Your self-storage business requires that same preparation.

Hurricane preparedness starts long before hurricane season. If you’re a new or seasoned self-storage owner, preparing even now can save you headaches in the future. While you may not be able to escape the path of the storm, having a plan can bring a sense of peace to your operation. Two important steps in disaster preparation are the creation of an emergency response plan and communication with customers.

Emergency Response Plan

Preparing your business begins with an emergency response plan. Thinking through details from the top to bottom of your business and your physical structure is important in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. There are four key components your business plan needs.

 

  1. Begin with a complete contact list in the order that each person needs to be reached. This contact list needs to be available to each person on the list and saved for quick access. Don’t assume everyone knows how to reach people on the list. Be sure to include all of your utility contact information in this section as well. In an emergency, preparedness is an asset.
  2. Take an in-depth look at your buildings, parking lots, security perimeters and other structures on the property. If it’s on the location of your business, it goes on the list. Consider any potential dangers that exist. Notice anything that could fall onto an existing structure. Pay attention to power lines and where a tree or other debris could bring them down. Now is the time to make repairs, clean up debris, securely store, or otherwise eliminate anything that could cause additional damage in a storm.
  3. Take photos of your property. Be sure to include interior, exterior, parking lots, the roof, and also have a site map available.
  4. Assign specific tasks to your emergency contact list. This will be a complete action list of which employees complete certain tasks without risking injury or harm to themselves or others.

Keep your emergency response plan in a binder where it can be easily accessed by any of the key employees assisting in the event.

Communicate With Customers

Excellent communication with customers is always important. Excellent communication with customers is always important. Reaching out to them shows you care about them, and provides good customer service. Here are 3 important things to communicate to customers:

  1. The business insurance does not extend to their belongings. It covers the property and physical structures. Their belongings are not included.
  2. If they do have insurance for their items, encourage them to take photos of all items and to contact their insurer ahead of time to find out how they will assist after a disaster.
  3. Ask them to follow your social media if they want updates on what’s happening at your location at all times, but especially in a crisis.

Contact Weaver Realty Group

Being prepared for a natural disaster is an important part of the self-storage business. While you can’t foresee the extent of damage that may occur with a particular storm, you can be prepared which will alleviate stress.

Weaver Realty Group is an Argus Self-Storage Network Affiliate serving the Florida panhandle. We work hard to provide strategies for self-storage owners. Contact Weaver Realty for expert advice on developing your emergency response plan today by calling (904) 591-0140.