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Prepared for Anything: A Boat and RV Storage Facility Disaster Response Plan, Part 1

It would be nice if everything went smoothly, but the reality is that things can go wrong. Whether it is a once-in-a-century storm or a wildfire that has gotten out of hand, the best way to handle those types of events is to be flexible with your problem-solving. Part of being a responsible business owner is preparing for the things that can go wrong. Between natural disasters and inclement weather, it is best to have backup procedures and planned routes implemented ahead of time. Here are some ways you can prepare your facility for the unexpected and some of the challenges you may face along the way.

Preparation Steps
Calculate Risk Assessment

Before planning for the inevitable, you must first know what you should be prepared for. Conduct a risk assessment at your boat and RV facility. This could include identifying the potential for natural disasters in your area. For instance, a boat and RV storage facility in Florida will be more concerned about hurricanes than snowstorms. Midwest business owners must include strategies for tornado preparedness. If you live on a fault line or close to one, earthquakes might be your biggest concern. 

Establish An Emergency Plan

Strategize about how your team will respond in an emergency. Establish emergency procedures and evacuation routes. Implement policies for staff to follow. For instance, if a fire breaks out at your facility, do your employees know where the fire extinguishers are? Your staff should be aware of and trained to implement emergency procedures, with the safety of staff and tenants being of the utmost importance.

Facilitate Facility Reinforcement

Part of prepping will include ensuring an adequate foundation for your storage facility. Tenants trust you to keep their boats, RVs, campers, and other recreational vehicles safe. By having the proper  structures in place, you are providing secure storage for your tenants when it matters most. Reinforce your structures, including roofs, walls and doors, to withstand high winds and flooding. Seal cracks, insulate buildings and inspect the integrity of your facility regularly.

Implement Proper Drainage and Fire Systems

Another way you can adapt your facility in your preparations is to install or upgrade drainage systems to prevent flooding and water damage. Not only is this beneficial if you happen to live in or near a flood zone, but it is also imperative during potential plumbing issues. In the case of frozen or burst pipes, a proper drainage system can cut down on any damage.

You already have a sprinkler system set up at your facility. If you are still in the process of building your boat and RV storage facility, consider the design. Fire flow requirements are usually set by local laws and regulations, so check with your local fire department to receive the most accurate guidance.

Communicate Now and Later

Communication is essential when dealing with the unexpected. By establishing clear communication channels with your customers, you can provide timely updates and instructions before, during and after a disaster. You should find ways to get your message across multiple channels, including social media, email and even emergency texts that your tenants can opt into.

Prep Emergency Supplies

Preparing for an emergency means stocking up on the supplies you need in case of unforeseen circumstances. It is good to keep emergency supplies on-hand, such as sandbags, generators, fuel, and tools for quick response and repair. You should also have an emergency kit stocked with candles, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, blankets and other emergency equipment that makes sense. If your area is prone to flooding, having inflatables and water purifiers are just some tools that can help in the worst-case scenario.

Train Staff

Train team members on simple emergency procedures. This should include first aid and the operation of emergency equipment. If there are emergency shutoff procedures, your employees should familiarize themselves with that procedure. This is especially important should your facility have fuel stations that need to be shut down.

Having action plans and emergency responses will give you the advantage when things go wrong and the unexpected turns plans sideways. It is not a matter of if something will happen, but when. As a business owner, you need a contingency plan for a lot of scenarios, but the most important one you can plan for is in case of an emergency. There are some challenges to overcome when considering the best way to plan for an emergency. Read the second part of this blog series to see how you can be ready for these types of challenges and how you can have a well-rounded response for anything life throws at you and your facility.

The Storage Group has a team of experts specializing in the self-storage industry that offers digital marketing services as well as innovative software solutions. The Storage Group provides self-storage business owners with industry-leading marketing campaigns and online technology tools to improve their facilities’ online presence, drive higher conversion rates and increase revenue.

Toy Storage Nation is pleased to announce that Steve Lucas of The Storage Group will be leading a presentation at the Naples Workshop, September 27, 2027, addressing the reasons RV and boat storage is a solid business investment and how operators can maximize their profits through digital marketing strategies. Learn more and register.

Naples Executive Workshop

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