If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes such as California or North Carolina, or even an area that has had earthquakes related to fracking or other issues such as New Jersey, you need to be sure that you are ready in case another earthquake occurs. There are a number of preparation tips to keep in mind, but if you are storing items in a storage locker, there are special precautions you should take to protect those items. Here are some tips to help you.
1. Use manufacturer packaging whenever possible.
If you still have the manufacturer's packaging for any of the items you are storing, use it. For electronics such as TVs, computer monitors or DVD players, this is especially important. The manufacturer's packaging is designed to closely fit your item and protect it during shipping. As a result, it can be helpful if your item gets shook up while in storage.
If you don't have the manufacturer's packaging, make sure to pad everything you pack thoroughly. Support glass items by putting packaging materials inside them as well as around them. Make sure that the packaging material ensconces the items firmly in a box. An item that is well wrapped but still able to move around in the box is more likely to get damaged than an item that is firmly held in place by packaging materials.
2. Place breakables near the floor.
When organizing your storage unit, place the most breakable items on the floor or on the bottom shelves in the unit. Save the top of stacks and upper shelves for items that are not fragile, such as linens, clothing, plastic toys or photo albums. That way, if things start falling during an earthquake, the fragile items don't have far to go and are less likely to break.
3. Anchor shelves to walls.
If you are putting shelves in the storage unit and you cannot get around putting some fragile items on high shelves, talk with the manager of the facility to see if you are allowed to anchor the shelves to the walls. This helps hold the shelves in place if an earthquake starts. If you can anchor the shelves, also take steps to anchor the items on them.
You can attach netting to the outside of the shelves using duct tape or nails. The netting should help to hold boxes in place if jostling occurs. Alternatively, you may use bungee cords or rope to help tie the boxes to the shelves.
4. Cushion potential projectiles.
In addition to packaging and securing breakables, you also need to pay attention to potential projectiles. For example, imagine you have a fireplace poker in your storage unit or an old baseball. Neither of those items are terribly breakable. However, if an earthquake starts shaking up the contents of your storage locker, those items may fly out of their spot and bash into a box of fragile items, which could cause additional breakage. To reduce that risk, try to keep everything in boxes, and if you have large, potentially dangerous items, wrap them in foam so that they don't hit anything else.
5. Insure your contents while they are in storage.
Unfortunately, regardless of the precautions you take, you cannot avoid every act of nature. To ensure that you won't incur a financial loss if a severe earthquake causes everything to shake and break, contact your insurance company. Ask your agent if your content's coverage or renter's insurance covers items in a self storage locker. If not, ask if you can add a rider that will cover damage related to items in a storage unit, and make sure that the rider covers earthquakes in particular.
For more information on how to safely store your items, contact a company like National Self Storage - Denver.